RCPA - Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association


Leavitt Names Medicaid Advisory Commission
July 8, 2005

United Stated Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt announced 13 voting members and 15 non-voting members of the advisory commission charged with identifying reforms necessary to stabilize and strengthen Medicaid. Consisting of health policy leaders from both sides of the aisle, state health department officials, public policy organizations, individuals with disabilities, and others with special expertise, the commission will submit its first report to Secretary Leavitt by September 1. Through the federal FY 2006 budget agreement, the Department of Health and Human Services agreed to create this commission to develop proposals on the future of the Medicaid program.

"In Washington and state capitols across America, there is consensus that now is the time to reform and modernize Medicaid," Secretary Leavitt said. "I look forward to having a robust conversation in an open and bipartisan manner with the commission members. Together with Congress and the states, we will create a plan that will better help Medicaid fulfill its commitment to quality care in a way that is financially sustainable."

The secretary is holding open two vacancies on the commission for current governors so that they may join after September 1 when the commission focuses on the longer-term methods of modernizing the Medicaid program. The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices will serve as a working group tasked with informing the commission on the range of issues that will be considered.

Former Tennessee governor Don Sundquist will chair the commission and former Maine governor Angus King will serve as vice-chair. The commission members are:

  • Nancy Atkins, commissioner for the Bureau for Medical Services, Department of Health and Human Resources, West Virginia
  • Melanie Bella, vice president for policy, Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.
  • Gail Christopher, vice president for health, Women and Families at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and director of the Joint Center Health Policy Institute
  • Gwen Gillenwater, director for advocacy and public policy, National Council on Independent Living
  • Robert Helms, resident scholar and director of health policy studies, American Enterprise Institute
  • Kay James, former director of the US Office of Personnel Management
  • Troy Justesen, deputy assistant secretary for the office of special education and rehabilitative services, US Department of Education
  • Tony McCann, secretary of health and mental hygiene, Maryland
  • Mike O'Grady, assistant secretary for planning and evaluation, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Bill Shiebler, former president, Deutsche Bank
  • Grace-Marie Turner, president, Galen Institute

In addition to the voting members, the commission will consist of the following non-voting members:

  • James Anderson, president and CEO, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, National Association of Children's Hospitals
  • Julianne Beckett, director of national policy, Family Voices
  • Carol Berkowitz, pediatrician, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Maggie Brooks, county executive, Monroe County, New York
  • Valerie Davidson, executive VP, Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation
  • Mark de Bruin, senior VP of pharmacy services, Rite Aid; chairman of the policy council, National Association of Chain Drug Stores
  • John Kemp, CEO, Disability Service Providers of America
  • Joseph Marshall, chairman and CEO, Temple University Health System, American Hospital Association
  • John Monahan, president of state sponsored programs for WellPoint; Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association and America’s Health Insurance Plans
  • John Nelson, physician, immediate past-president of the American Medical Association
  • Joseph J. Piccione, corporate director of mission integration, OSF Healthcare System
  • John Rugge, CEO, Hudson Headwaters Health Network, National Association of Community Health Centers
  • Douglas Struyk, president and CEO, Christian Health Care Center, American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living and American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging
  • Howard Weitz, cardiologist, Thomas Jefferson University
  • Joy Johnson Wilson, director of health policy and federal affairs counsel, National Conference of State Legislators

The Medicaid commission must submit two reports to Secretary Leavitt. By September 1 the commission will outline recommendations for Medicaid to achieve $10 billion in reductions in spending growth during the next five years as well as ways to begin meaningful long-term enhancements that can better serve beneficiaries. The commission, for its first report, also will consider potential performance goals for Medicaid as a basis of longer-term recommendations.

The second report, due December 31, 2006, will provide recommendations to help ensure the long-term sustainability of Medicaid. The proposals will address key issues such as:

  • How to expand coverage to more Americans while still being fiscally responsible;
  • Ways to provide long-term care to those who need it;
  • A review of eligibility, benefits design, and delivery; and
  • Improved quality of care, choice and beneficiary satisfaction.

A full copy of the commission's charter is available at www.cms.hhs.gov/faca/mc/default.asp. Information was provided by the US Department of health and Human Services (www.hhs.gov/news).

< Back