Health Reform Moves to the States: The Case of Minnesota

The apparent collapse of health reform in Washington has shifted attention back to the question of what (if anything) states can do to control prices, ...
by | February 16, 2010
 

The apparent collapse of health reform in Washington has shifted attention back to the question of what (if anything) states can do to control prices, improve the delivery system, and/or expand coverage at time when revenues are collapsing.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Governing will take a look at several alternatives being proposed. We'll start today by highlighting the ideas of Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. 

Over the weekend, Gov. Pawlenty -- a leading contender for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012 -- began a campaign to put his health reform ideas before the public. The essentials of the Pawlenty approach were laid out in an op-ed in the Washington Post . (Or catch him here on Fox News.) It consists of five things:

1) Incentivizing patients to be smart consumers by making people who utilize low-quality, more expensive providers pay more, much as Minnesota has with its state employees.

2) Paying for performance, not for services.

3) Reforming liability to cut down on unnecessary procedures. 

4) Creating a national health insurance market.

5) Modernizing health insurance.

Pawlenty says Minnesota has already done pioneering work on Point 1 and Point 2. Exactly what those innovations are -- and what their effects have been -- will be the subject of my next post.

I'll then conclude with an assessment of ideas 3, 4, and 5. So check back soon for the T-Paw fact-check!

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