Paramount in the agenda, released on January 16 and reiterated during the Democratic governor’s state of the state address, are four bills introduced in the state legislature, according to a news release. The bills were introduced with the assistance of state Senator Dede Feldman and Representative Danice Picraux.
One of the proposed legislative pieces would create a Health Care Purchasing Authority for existing public employee and retiree health care. Through such a program, Richardson estimates the state can immediately save $2 million in administrative costs. In addition, the governor will examine the potential impact of allowing private employers, individuals and families to buy into the purchasing authority.
Other proposals call for a comprehensive statewide health plan, what the governor describes as “a foundation for policy decisions dealing with access to health care, workforce issues and financing concerns,” and a unified behavioral health plan. Richardson also wants to give the Department of Health oversight of hospitals and nursing facilities.