In State-of-the-State Speeches, Governors Present Healthcare Priorities

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , January 24, 2012

Gov. John Kitzhaber (D-Oregon)
"All of our job creation and economic development strategies will be futile in the long run unless we are successful in transforming…our healthcare system. We can no longer simply stand by while businesses, families, and your state government are forced to spend more and more every year on an inefficient, hyper-inflationary system that is not making us healthier as a population—dollars that otherwise businesses could be using to create new jobs; families could be using to get out of debt and pay off their mortgages; and the state could be using to invest in children and education.

"In last year's legislative session we set the state stage for fundamental changes to our health care system. We created the state's first health insurance exchange to provide individuals and small businesses with easy to compare information on the quality and price of various health plans. We committed to transforming the delivery of healthcare to reduce year-over-year cost increases while improving health outcomes for Oregonians."

"The business plan for our new Coordinated Care Organization shifts the focus and financial incentives from the emergency room and after-the-fact acute care to prevention, early intervention, and community-based management of chronic conditions. The potential cost savings for the state are substantial – more than $3 billion in the next five years."

Gov. Nikki Haley (R-South Carolina)
"We are tackling the root causes of our problems, not just the symptoms. Healthcare providers are now working in partnership with us to improve quality and lower costs. We identified payment reform to align incentives between healthcare providers, payers, and patients as a top priority and are implementing strategies to do just that."

"We are shifting towards Medicaid managed care, which independent studies show saves us money and delivers better quality than traditional Medicaid. And for the first time, we are giving managed care companies a financial stake in improving quality year after year. No longer will the State of South Carolina bear the costs of poorly managed healthcare alone. We will continue to push back against the federal takeover of our healthcare system. South Carolina does not want, and cannot afford, the President's healthcare plan. Not now and not ever."

Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R-South Dakota)
"I formed the Medicaid Solutions Workgroup during the last legislative session to see what we could do to control the growth of Medicaid spending. What they found was that South Dakota's Medicaid program is an efficient and conservative program. We have never had many of the expensive options that now burden other states, and there are not many things to cut."

Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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