Governor Paterson Establishes Cabinet to Implement Federal Health Care Reform in New York

ALBANY, NY (05/13/2010)(readMedia)-- Governor David A. Paterson today created the Governor's Health Care Reform Cabinet to manage the implementation of federal health care reform in New York State. The Cabinet will advise and make recommendations to the Governor on all aspects of federal health care reform and strategic planning to guide the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. The Cabinet will be chaired by the Director of State Operations with the Deputy Secretary for Health, Medicaid and Oversight and the Deputy Secretary for Labor and Financial Regulation serving as vice-chairs.

"Federal health care reform will have a significant positive impact for New York's residents, families, small business owners and the 2.5 million New Yorkers who are currently uninsured," Governor Paterson said. "The Health Care Reform Cabinet will serve a critical role in ensuring the provisions of national health care reform are successfully implemented in New York State and that the actions taken reinforce the State's commitment to improving the health of all New Yorkers. In addition, the Cabinet will work to facilitate public participation throughout the process."

The Health Care Reform Cabinet is charged with:

• Identifying deadlines for the completion of interim or final steps necessary or desired to comply with the provisions of federal health care reform;

• Identifying those provisions of federal health care reform with which the State must comply and those that are optional, and evaluating whether participation in optional programs is appropriate;

• Assessing the State's capacity to carry out those provisions of federal health care reform that affect or potentially affect the State;

• Identifying any changes needed to State statute, regulation, policy or procedure in order to implement such provisions and facilitating the achievement of such changes as necessary;

• Communicating with the federal government, local governments, other states, health care providers, and other stakeholders as advisable or necessary; and

• Providing for outreach to the public to educate them on the implementation of reforms as necessary.

State agencies serving in the Cabinet include: the Department of Health, the Department of Insurance, the Division of the Budget, the Department of Civil Service, the Department of Taxation and Finance, the Department of Labor, the Office for Technology, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the Office of Mental Health, the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, the Office for the Aging, the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General, and the Office of Children and Family Services. The Deputy Secretary for Human Services, Technology and Operations, Deputy Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs and Counsel to the Governor will also serve in the Cabinet.

In addition, the Governor will name an external advisory group to assist and advise the Cabinet on reform provisions and ensure stakeholder and public engagement. The advisory group will include organizations representing health care providers, consumers, businesses, organized labor, local governments, and health plans and health insurers, as well as health policy experts.

"Implementing federal health care reform is a complex task, and many decisions must be made by the end of this year. The Health Care Reform Cabinet will begin that work immediately, ensuring the successful implementation of these reforms when they take full effect on January 1, 2014," Governor Paterson added.

Under Governor Paterson's leadership, New York State has become a national leader in expanding access to quality health care for children and adults through its public health insurance programs, including Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus, Healthy New York and Medicaid, while implementing efficiencies to ensure that funds are used in the most cost-effective manner. New York is the only state in the nation with both open enrollment and pure community rating and has been a leader in its efforts to guarantee access to private health insurance coverage.


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