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Author: Mark Blum Created: 12/18/2009 2:30 PM
Mark Blum's Blog

Over the past year, America’s Agenda worked with public employee unions, legislative leaders, and State government officials to tackle escalation in the price they pay for prescription medicines.  That effort married adoption of best-in-class contract terms and big data analytics of complex drug pricing data into a cohesive strategy to compare reliable future cost projections of proposals made by various pharmacy benefit managers, or “PBMs”, seeking to supply prescription drug benefits to 750,000 New Jersey public worker union members, retirees, and dependents. 

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California has always been a leader in innovation. Right now, California is poised to be among the leaders, again, in launching a State Health Benefits Exchange that can help transform delivery of health care, lowering costs and improving quality of care for all Californians.

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Health reform passed an important milestone in the State of Maryland, last week, when Governor Martin O’Malley signed state legislation into law that establishes Maryland as a national leader in transforming the way healthcare will be delivered to residents of the state.

Among the provisions of Maryland’s new 2012 health exchange law is authorization for the State’s Health Insurance Exchange Board “to use effective methods such as team-based patient-centered medical care” to reduce costs and improve quality of health care provided through the State exchange. 

In Maryland and across the nation, America’s Agenda has advocated transformation from the predominant, fragmented, fee-for-service approach to delivering care that fuels rapid inflation in medical and health insurance costs to a patient-centered, team-based care delivery strategy that has demonstrated its effectiveness in improving care quality and reducing growth in overall healthcare costs.

It is an irony that, while the ACA-created state health insurance exchanges offer an unprecedented opportunity to advance patient-centered, team-based transformation of US health care, they also pose a troubling threat to the future of employment-based health care in America.

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America's Agenda: Health Care for All will co-sponsor a workshop entitled "21st Century Care Delivery strategies that Will Drive Down Taft-Hartley Plan Costs” on September 27 at the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans (NCCMP) Annual Conference in Hollywood, Florida. The conference, which runs from September 26 - 28, will bring Taft-Hartley health plan representatives together to discuss strategies for protecting and strengthening multi-employer plans in the new, post-federal reform environment.

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Over the past several months, America's Agenda President Doug Dority and I have crisscrossed the country, meeting with union and employer leaders from coast to coast...  We believe our message is urgent and important to the survival of America's employment-based health insurance system - at least, until a better solution is ready to replace it...

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Yesterday I was honored to testify before the Department of HHS Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (COOP) Advisory Board regarding implementation of the federal reform COOP Program in the state exchanges. 

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Bipartisan Health Care Advocate Emphasizes Contribution of Collective Bargaining to Improving Health Coverage for All Americans

WASHINGTON-- America's Agenda, a bipartisan health care reform advocate, expressed solidarity with workers in Wisconsin, Ohio, and nine other states where proposed legislation has threatened collective bargaining rights.

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WASHINGTON-- America's Agenda, a nonpartisan group focused on lowering health care costs and improving patient care thanked the AARP of West Virginia in a statement today. "West Virginians should be proud," said America's Agenda Executive Director Mark Blum.

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We’re heading into a new year that holds real promise for accelerating the transformation American health care needs. What better occasion to celebrate the leadership and vision of those remarkable health care providers who are stepping onto the front lines of a movement that is reshaping the way health care is delivered, improving the quality of our care, and demonstrating impressive potential to rein in runaway growth of health costs?

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Today, the Obama Administration put into place two building blocks of what could become a coherent strategy for reining in growth in health costs and improving care quality for all Americans.  

 

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