WASHINGTON—As Congress and the Administration consider sweeping health care reforms, governors are assessing how proposed changes will affect their residents and state budgets. Federal proposals seek to reshape the private health insurance market and make significant changes to the Medicaid program, which today serves roughly 75 million Americans and represents the largest share of the budget in most states.

"As governors, we will be responsible for implementing many of the health care changes being discussed at the federal level," said NGA Chair Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. "In addition, we have to make decisions now about our state budgets and programs amid great uncertainty about how these efforts will unfold. While we are continuing to work with leadership in Washington to make our voices heard as reforms are discussed, it is prudent that states prepare for the potential impacts of the proposed legislation."

To assist states in navigating the changing health care landscape, the National Governors Association (NGA) is launching the Governors' Bipartisan Health Reform Learning Network (Bipartisan Learning Network). The Bipartisan Learning Network will include 14 states, with an even split of Democratic and Republican governors: California, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming. Those states will:

  • Receive clear, unbiased information on the potential impact of proposed changes to Medicaid and private health insurance;
  • Engage in a dialogue with other state leaders and national experts about reform proposals and their potential impact on states;
  • Receive data analyses regarding the state impact of health care reforms; and
  • Receive technical assistance to understand and prepare for the statutory and regulatory parameters of any new Medicaid and private health insurance reforms, if enacted.

Seven states—Delaware, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont and Virginia—will also participate in a complementary Maternal and Child Health working group charged with evaluating proposed changes and informing the learning network about potential implications.

To learn more about the NGA Center for Best Practices Health Division, click here.