As Congress returns from August recess poised to tackle legislation to protect patients from surprise out-of-network billing, it is clear this progress was made possible by the critical mass of states that have led on this issue. It is often easy to forget how popular and ingrained elements of our federal health care system began with creative state leadership.
- States are the laboratories of our democracy. Historically, states have implemented health care policies which have led to federal legislation.
- New policies are most politically durable when solutions have broad political support.
- Various state approaches give Congress a policy and political roadmap for solving important problems, like protecting consumers from surprise bills.