Thursday, January 10, 2008

State of the State Speeches Touch on Healthcare

Governor of Idaho, C.L. “Butch” Otter’s State of the State speech on January 7, 2008 announced that the state is working with Blue Cross, Regence Blue Shield, St. Luke’s and St. Alphonsus of Boise, Kootenai Medical Center of Coeur d’Alene, Health West in Pocatello, and others to create a Health Data Exchange that will be the first of its kind computer health information sharing system.

Governor of Maine John E. Baldacci on January 9, 2008 explained how the budget will ask the three largest purchasers of healthcare in Maine to come together to save taxpayers money and provide better care to consumers. The Maine State Employees Health Commission, University of Maine System, and the Maine Education Association plan to join forces to put their enormous buying power together to lower prescription drug costs.

Governor Eliot Spitzer discussed plans for New York on January 9, 2008 to bring the healthcare system out of the digital dark ages and has plans for the state to secure electronic health records whether on a card or online in 2008.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger mentioned the Health Care Security and Cost Reduction Act in California that he introduced and he is happy to see that the bill was passed by the state Assembly. Now the state Senate is discussing the bill that would contain costs and lower healthcare spending by specifically addressing chronic illnesses and also providing for broad access to preventive care.