Obama Reaches Out To Governors On Health Care

"A bipartisan group of governors told President Obama yesterday that they share his urgent desire to restructure the nation's health-care system but warned that any changes should not place more burdens on strained state budgets or eliminate innovative programs they already have in place," The Washington Post reports. "With many state budgets burdened by ballooning... Medicaid costs, the five governors who met with Obama at the White House agreed that changes are needed to expand health-care coverage and contain its costs." But they were also "adamant that the restructuring of the health-care system not push new costs on states. 'If we're going to add more population onto the Medicaid rolls, there has to be a way to pay for that,' said Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm, D-Mich., adding that it is a position Obama supported." Republican governors Jim Douglas of Vermont and Mike Rounds of South Dakota, and Democrats Granholm, Jim Doyle of Wisconsin and Chris Gregoire of Washington, attended the meeting (Fletcher, 6/25).

Politico adds that after the meeting, Obama said "I think everybody here wants to make sure that governors have flexibility, that they have input into how legislation is being shaped on the Hill ... And we're committed to working with them in the weeks and months to come to make sure that when we get health reform done, it is in partnership with the states, where the rubber so often hits the road" (Lee and Brown, 6/24).

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