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Call to Action

WHEREAS, serious concerns continue to be raised with the affordability, quality, delivery, equity and accessibility of healthcare in the United States; and

WHEREAS, such concerns have direct implications for the design, implementation, cost and long-term viability of public sector employee and retiree healthcare plans; and

WHEREAS, approximately ten percent of the U.S. workforce is employed by state and local governments, which continue to offer healthcare coverage to employees and retirees at a higher rate than any other domestic industry; and

WHEREAS, state and local governments have been creative and innovative in their efforts to make healthcare available for their employees and retirees, yet their ability to affect the cost, quality, delivery, accessibility, equity and affordability of healthcare is becoming increasingly limited; and

WHEREAS, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has proposed accounting changes requiring governmental employers to recognize the cost of healthcare for both current retirees as well as future retirees, which may artificially trigger state law constraints on spending and further jeopardize these essential benefits for millions of governmental employees and retirees; and

WHEREAS, many of the current proposals for healthcare reform under consideration may represent only temporary solutions, and a national debate must be initiated to discuss the long-term structure of the U.S. healthcare system and Medicare program; and

WHEREAS, the Public Sector Healthcare Roundtable has been established in order to ensure that state and local government employee and retiree healthcare programs are actively involved in policy discussions to reform our national system of healthcare, are forwarding concerns unique to public sector healthcare purchasers and the millions of employees and retirees they cover, and are working to guarantee that state and local government employee and retiree healthcare programs are provided parity with their private sector counterparts in any proposed legislation and/or regulations addressing quality, delivery, affordability, equity and/or accessibility to healthcare;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Public Sector HealthCare Roundtable calls on all state and local governmental entities responsible for funding and/or administering public employee and retiree health programs to become active participants in the national debate over reform of the long-term structure of the nation's system of healthcare by (1) quantifying the nature and extent of their healthcare services; (2) developing specific current and projected cost estimates associated with them; (3) describing successful strategies that have been developed and implemented with regard to best practices and cost containment in the public sector; (4) identifying issues unique to purchasers/administrators of public employee and retiree healthcare; and (5) ensuring that all elected officials at every level of government are provided with this information and an explanation of its implications for increased access to healthcare, improved quality of care, managed and equitably distributed costs, and simplified administration and delivery of services.

Adopted: Nov. 30, 2005