Sunday, January 16, 2011

TPPF Policy Orientation - Day One, Part Three

Health Insurance Exchanges - Good Deal or Raw Deal?

Panel: Rep Larry Taylor, Tx house of Representatives
John Goodman, Pres and CEO, National Ctr for Policy Analysis
Edmund Haislmaier, Sr Research Fellow, Health Policy Studies
Jared Wolfe, Exec Dir, Tx Assoc of Health Plans

John Goodman - Touted his blog. Health policy blog is right of center.

Jared Wolfe - Studied health insurance exchanges for three decades. Also managed competition and Fed Employee Health Benefits Plans.
Texas should establish its own exchange. 24 million around the country in exchanges by 2019. States know its own market. Government only able to do one size fits all approach.

Edmund Haislmaier - Spent the last five years researching patient controlled health care options.
An exchange is a box with a label on it. It is what's in the box that matters. States should offer employers option to purchase plan, not a mandatory excercise.
2014- States mandate control over Medicaid program - otherwise without exchanges, the federal government will control it.

Rep Larry Taylor - Vows to get Obamacare repealed but says it will take another election cycle.

Panel Session Three
Fiscal Transparency: Pulling Back the Curtain on Spending

Panel: Keith Elkins, Exec Dir, Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas
Talmadge Heflin, Director, Ctr for Fiscal Policy, TPPF
Trent Seibert, Founder & Editor, Texas Watchdog
Ross Ramsey, CEO & Editor, The Texas Tribune

Keith Elkins - As a political reporter he knows the problems of mass info drops during legislative sessions at the last minute.
Recommends website as excellent example of online transparency - - One of the best city financial websites in the country.
Have to create a model that is user-friendly to allow users to import data without re-inventing the wheel every time. Point and click.

Talmadge Heflin - TPPF is a strong advocate for transparency.
Taxpayers deserve to know where the money goes.
educating the public about activities is top priority.

Ross Ramsey - Spoke about all the political reporters having lunch with Lt Gov Dewhurst (regular event) when KBH made announcement not to seek re-election in 2012. All the cell phones went off at the same time.

Trent Seibert - Don't underestimate desire by the people for transparency and open records.

Opening Lunch Keynote was delivered by Senator John Cornyn. Senator Cornyn stressed the importance of working for a balanced budget amendment this year. He pledged to be a no vote on extending the debt ceiling without budget cuts tied to it.

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