The National Governor’s Association (NGA) talked on CSPAN today about Health Care and The Economy in a session moderated by CNBC anchor and Eva Mendes look-a-like Maria Bartiromo.
The session initially started off with platitudes on the terrible state of the economy from the 50 governors assembled before Ms. Bartiromo turned the conversation to health care, which seemed to be everyone’s topic of concern.
Gov. Patrick of Massachusetts got things going by explaining specifics of his state and boasting a 98% coverage rate for his constituents. He did stress that “everyone starts from a different place” and Massachusetts was already using “patches and plugs” so only 1% was added to the budget.
The Republican governors seemed to mainly stress increasing competition as the primary method for expanding healthcare. One nice touch was the Utah governor explaining that his solution was similar to Massachusetts except Utah gave its taxpayers money instead of…health care. The taxpayer was then free to shop around for health care in the private sector, like “Travelocity”, a great internet reference from the guv’nor.
Gov. Mike Beebe (D-AK) was possibly the most emphatic with this quote:
“Governors get things done. The debate in Congress so far has been about rhetoric and not policy. We have the boots on the ground. Let us get it done.”
Despite being mostly talk, what was most striking was once governors on both sides of the aisle got done scoring political points, everyone agreed four clear issues:
- Genuine frustration with the current political system and Congress for not being able to get things done.
- Urgent requests to Congress and Adminsitration to get governors involved in the health care debate as they have concrete solutions as they are the “boots on the ground.”
- Confidence in the ability of states to implement health care reform individually if Congress failed to pass a bill.
Unfortunately, Maria never got around to asking the governors if they felt a certain ex-Alaskan governor may have increased CSPAN’s ratings for this event.
Look below to see what states have already implemented healthcare reform: