A bipartisan group of federal lawmakers said they would reintroduce legislation that allows states a freer rein to experiment with various healthcare strategies, much like Massachusetts and California have recently done. Under House and Senate versions of the bill, Congress would authorize grants to either individual or groups of states, or localities, to implement a broad range of policies that increase healthcare coverage and lower the number of uninsured. Potential strategies include but are not limited to tax credits, expansion of SCHIP or Medicaid, single-payer systems and health savings accounts. The bills, sponsored by Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio) in the Senate and Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Tom Price (R-Ga.) and John Tierney (D-Mass.) in the House, would also create a State Health Innovation Commission under HHS that could give the green light to the various plans. States would be required to report to Congress after five years on their progress. -- by Matthew DoBias
Lawmakers to reintroduce state bills
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