Health Care Compact legislation championed by Rep. Lois Kolkhorst and Sen. Jane Nelson has been called many things, but perhaps the best way to describe the Compact is the difference between the one-size-fits-all approach to health care policy of the Federal Government and the states’ need for health care solutions that are tailored for them that actually work.

This week, the Daily Caller carried an excellent explanation on the needs and merits of a Health Care Compact of the states.

The full article can be found here. A few of the high-points follow:

Under the current system, states are forced to comply with standards and regulations dictated by the federal government. But each state faces unique health care challenges. For example, states with a large number of retirees like Florida have a higher Medicare enrollment than other states. States like Mississippi and Tennessee have higher Medicaid populations and require additional programs for young families below the federal poverty level. The rigid and uniform standards that originate in Washington, D.C. don’t address the diverse needs of the states.

The issue raised by these governors is not about health care policy. It’s about governance. It’s not about who is covered. It’s about who decides. The Health Care Compact is an interstate compact that addresses the governance of health care by restoring control of and funding for health care to states. It enables each participating state to use its health care funds in any manner it deems appropriate, without federal mandates. As states seek creative fiscal solutions, the Health Care Compact represents a viable way for state legislatures and governors to take charge of their budgets and health care policies. Under the Health Care Compact, one member state may choose to emphasize programs for children and uninsured families, while another state may choose to enhance its programs for senior citizens or adjust its Medicare reimbursement rates. The Health Care Compact empowers states to use their own discretion to address their unique needs.

As states (including Texas) continue to deal with tightening their belts, they should at least be able to wear health care policy that fits for their state rather than the cumbersome hand-me-downs from the Feds.

Andrew Kerr is the Executive Director of Empower Texans / Texans for Fiscal Responsibility

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