Federal Leadership Needed to Support State Coverage Initiatives

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<p>New York's Gov. Spitzer recently announced that New York intends to join the ranks of states that are planning to make quality affordable health care accessible to all their residents. In a <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=27195&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Faboutus%2Faboutus%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D468301%26%23doc468301">new column</a>, Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis discusses the components of the recent coverage proposals in New York, Pennsylvania, and California, among other states. She also emphasizes the need for the federal government to get involved, citing a recent <em>New York Times</em>/CBS News Poll that finds a majority of Americans says the federal government should guarantee health insurance to every American.<br><br>"What we need is federal leadership that builds on what we are learning from state innovations," Davis writes. One opportunity would be for the federal government to provide matching funds to states for more low-income children when it reauthorizes the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) this year. Davis adds that federal matching funds for coverage of low-income adults would permit states to build on the success of SCHIP--and calls for congressional and presidential action in support of state initiatives.</p>