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October 22 2008

A New Federal-State Partnership in Health Care: Real Power for States

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Bioethics, the NIH Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland (Dr Emanuel); and US Senate, Washington, DC (Sen Wyden).

JAMA. 2008;300(16):1931-1934. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.536

When governors as talented, passionate, and devoted to health care reform as Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania and Arnold Schwarzenegger of California are beaten back in their efforts for state-based health care reform, it is time to rethink the problem and begin a new discussion about how states should participate in health reform. Governors Rendell and Schwarzenegger were not alone. In the days after April 2006, when Massachusetts passed its health reform bill, virtually every state legislature met and sought to enact legislation providing health care for all state residents; however, not one was successful.1