Health Policy Consensus Group

The Galen Institute facilitates the work of the Health Policy Consensus Group, an affiliation of health policy analysts that produces recommendations and analysis on a variety of health policy issues. Its members include experts from leading market-based think tanks, academics, and former officials with the Congress and previous administrations. The group meets to share findings, discuss proposals, and help guide the general direction of health policy around free-market principles.

Members have been working together for more than 15 years on a number of projects that leverage their pooled expertise to provide unique insights into the health policy debate:

Would the Health Reform Prescriptions Offered by President Obama and Congressional Leaders Help Patients?
We are gravely concerned that several of the proposals offered by the President and the Congressional leadership would make matters worse, not better. There are many problems that need to be addressed in the health sector, and the signatories to this statement have written extensively about our ideas for reform. Because the reform agenda is moving rapidly through Congress, we believe the American public should be aware of the likely impact of the policies described in this statement which are under active consideration by elected leaders. We believe that the proposals put forth by the Administration and Congressional leaders would harm, not help, patients and would not fulfill the goals and promises made to the American people.

Principles for Reauthorization of SCHIP
The State Children’s Health Insurance Program was designed to cover children in families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford private coverage. Numerous opinion polls show that Americans support continuing the program to cover children in these lower-income families. This was the original mission of SCHIP, and it should be the focus of reauthorization.

SCHIP Guidelines: Principles for Health Insurance Coverage for Children and Families
Members of the Health Policy Consensus Group offer the following guidelines to policymakers for consideration during debate over reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). We also offer a brief summary of our larger vision of expanding access to health insurance.

The Facts: Medicare Advantage
Competing Medicare Advantage plans are offering more choices, more generous benefits, and lower cost-sharing to beneficiaries than Medicare fee-for-service. Seniors who especially value MA are those living in rural areas and those with modest incomes who can’t afford supplementary coverage.

The Facts: Medicare Part D and Prescription Drug Prices
Price negotiation by competing private plans offering Medicare drug coverage is producing high satisfaction rates among seniors at a much lower cost than if the government had provided a traditional plan. Congress should not impose new government controls that could reduce seniors’ access to needed drugs.

Statement on Medicare and Prescription Drug Coverage
The Health Policy Consensus Group offers principles and recommendations to lawmakers to guide their decisions on Medicare and prescription drugs. The statement, signed by 26 health policy experts, was released during a briefing on Capitol Hill on June 2 as Congress began its debate over improving and modernizing the Medicare program. They advise changes to bring competition and consumer choice into the program.

Statement of Principle on Patient Choice
Because the Patients’ Bill of Rights will raise costs and reduce access to health insurance, employers and employees should have the ability to opt out of the provisions of the bill if they so desire.

Credits Versus Deductions For The Purchase Of Health Insurance
In a letter to Senator Nickles, the Consensus Group speaks to the approach taken as part of the Patients’ Bill of Rights package of legislation now before Congress to help the uninsured obtain health insurance.

Consensus Group Issues Advice on Implementing State Children’s Health Insurance Program
The Consensus Group strongly encourages states to take advantage of the opportunities in the law to create market-based programs to cover targeted uninsured children and their families.

Consensus Group Announces Position On Medicare Reform
The Consensus Group believe that structural changes should be made in Medicare. Across a broad ideological spectrum, the members of the Consensus Group agree on the fundamental principles of Medicare reform.