LEXINGTON, Ky.--Ohio Sen. Edna Brown has been appointed as a co-chair of The Council of State Governments' Health Public Policy Committee for the 2013-14 biennium. The committee is designed to encourage multi-state problem solving and sharing of best practices, and to facilitate networking among state officials from all three branches of government and between the public and private sectors.
"It is very rewarding to have CSG address the issue of making good public health policy and to recognize my interest as well," Brown said.
CSG's Health Public Policy Committee provides a forum for state leaders to address emerging challenges and issues arising from dynamic health policy conditions and changes in the states. Members of the committee focus on emerging trends, innovative and effective solutions, and viable policy positions and response projects.
"The next two years will be busy in the health arena," said Debra Miller, CSG's director of health policy. "Health insurance exchanges have to be up and running Jan. 1, 2014. If a state is expanding Medicaid eligibility, that coverage likely begins Jan. 1, 2014 as well. And those are just the two big pieces of the Affordable Care Act. States are also trying to increase quality and efficiency in their traditional Medicaid, public health and mental health systems."
Those items are, in fact, among the policy priorities of the Health Public Policy Committee. CSG's national leaders in concert with the committee's membership establish committee priorities. The policy priorities for this biennium are Medicaid expansion and funding; mental health and violence prevention; health insurance exchanges; health workforce adequacy; and promoting healthy behaviors.
"CSG is putting together opportunities for our members to increase their knowledge base in the areas of Medicaid policy, new biologics and other technologic advancements to fight disease, and chronic disease prevention and management. We offer two-day health policy academies to allow members to dig more deeply into a topic than a normal legislative session allows," said Miller.
Brown also will attend a Medicaid Policy Academy in June; this will be her second.
"I look forward to learning much during the academy sessions this year as I did in 2012," she said.
Her co-chair on the committee is Dr. John Zerwas, a state representative from Texas.
"Health care spending is more than 17 percent of U.S. gross domestic product," Miller said. "In ways big and small, lawmakers who serve on CSG or their own state legislative health committees impact that spending through their decisions. We want to help our members increase the efficiency and effectiveness of those trillions of dollars of spending."
The Council of State Governments is our nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.