DeLissio attends first meeting of CSG Healthy States National Task Force

PHILADELPHIA, July 12 -- The Council of State Governments Healthy States National Task Force, which is divided into four subcommittees, convened for the first time in Lexington, Kentucky June 17-19 to set goals for the biennium and to learn from speakers with expertise in the policy area.

State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., attended as a co-chair of the State Health Systems Return on Investment subcommittee.

“It is an honor to serve as co-chair of this subcommittee,” DeLissio said. “I believe we need to challenge how the current system operates, the current tremendous cost of health care in our country, particularly given the less than stellar outcomes for our current investment.

“Working with legislators from across the country will help in bringing a broader understanding of how we can ensure that our citizens are receiving care.”

DeLissio, who earlier this year accepted her invitation to participate, continued: “One of my personal goals for participating in this task force is to advance the concept of universal access to health care and to address the cost drivers that are putting our citizens at grave financial risk. Other industrialized nations support healthcare policies differently than the U.S. and, interestingly, they have lower costs and better outcomes. We need to understand why we have pursued the healthcare delivery system that is presently in place.”

Over the next two years, policymakers will survey best practices and innovative state initiatives during planned task force meetings, some of which will be held at annual CSG national conferences.

“Thank you for being willing to take on what I believe is a really important task but a heavy lift nonetheless,” Tennessee state Sen. Bo Watson said during the opening session of the task force meeting. “You are here, and were selected to be here, for a reason, and it is because of the skillset that you have around this subject.”

Watson serves as co-chair of the Healthy States National Task Force with Delaware state Sen. Bryan Townsend

“The topic is as complicated and fraught with uncertainties and policy complexities and political pitfalls as it is critical from a fiscal, economic, business and moral perspective,” Townsend said.

Each subcommittee of the Healthy States Task Force has two co-chairs and 10 members. The four subcommittees are as follows: What’s Next? Leveraging Innovation; State Health Systems and Return on Investment; Capacity, Preparedness and Resiliency; and Interventions to Save Lives.