Families USA has launched The National Center for Coverage Innovation (NCCI) to help state and federal policymakers and consumer leaders develop and implement innovative approaches to expand and improve health care coverage. NCCI’s mission will be complete when every family in America has health coverage that provides the financial security and affordable access to health care that people need to thrive.
NCCI will relentlessly pursue creative, pragmatic solutions that expand and strengthen health coverage, seeking the bipartisan support that makes policy gains truly sustainable. NCCI advocates incremental reforms that tangibly benefit people’s lives in the near term while it collaborates with diverse state and national partners to build longer-term consensus around bolder transformation. NCCI combines cutting-edge thought leadership, analysis, and technical assistance with the full spectrum of proven advocacy tools that have helped Families USA build a 37-year track record of success improving the health and health care of our nation’s families at the federal, state, and community levels.
Why focus on coverage?
Health coverage does two things: It helps people obtain the care they need to lead healthy lives, and it protects against the often crushing financial burdens of uncovered medical expenses. Coverage is a fundamental building block upon which many other health interventions depend.
What do we mean by “innovation”?
Nearly a decade after the federal ACA debate began, much of the policy conversation around coverage has grown stale. Many leading proposals are recycled from the ACA or older debates that long predated the ACA, such as ideas for short-term plans, association health plans, and health savings accounts. Policymakers desperately need fresh and feasible solutions that can gain traction in ever-changing state and national health policy environments. NCCI is founded on the conviction, grounded in its leaders’ experience, that creative, open engagement among diverse stakeholders and policymakers can yield new and effective solutions that achieve widely shared goals for expanding and improving health coverage.
Why launch NCCI now?
Following several years of furious national debate over health care, 78 percent of Americans, including majorities in both parties, now believe that “the government should help make sure that everyone has access to affordable, quality health care.” Mid-term elections that ended Congressional threats to Medicaid and comprehensive coverage (at least for now) have opened the window more widely for states to test new approaches that could point the way for the rest of the country. During the next two years, some key federal lawmakers, in both parties, are likely to seek practical solutions to help their constituents. Vigorous state-level experimentation; incremental federal policy improvements; and quiet, national consensus-building are essential so that, if opportunities materialize that permit significant, national progress, advocates, stakeholders, and policymakers are ready to move quickly.