Health and Human Services Newsletter | December 2018



12/03-12/07/2018—The NCSL Capitol Forum held in Washington, D.C. earlier this month welcomed more than 600 attendees and offered 40-plus sessions. We welcomed returning and new committee officers for all standing NCSL Committees, and our members heard from a variety of federal officials.

NCSL 2018 Capitol Forum

12/06/2018-12/07/2018—The NCSL Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee held an entire day of programming on Thursday, Dec. 6. See below for session highlights.

12/06/2018—Our NCSL HHS programming kicked off with “Getting to the Doctor: The Importance of Reliable Transportation.”

The panel discussed how a lack of reliable transportation is often cited as a barrier to accessing health care services. Speakers included legislators Colorado and Mississippi along with leading content experts. They discussed the link between health care and transportation, specifically looking at Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, including provision, oversight and financing.

Resources: MACPAC NEMT Overview Presentation, MTAC Study, MTAC NEMT Study

12/06/2018—The NCSL HHS and Children and Family’s Team held a luncheon session on “Supporting Success in the Youngest Children.” During the session, attendants heard from a leading public health researcher about the importance of healthy development prenatally and in the early years to prepare young children for success in school and beyond.

The session also discussed the work of NCSL’s Prenatal-to-Three Legislative Advisory Group, including a new Prenatal-To-Three Legislative Framework that highlights prenatal-to-three policies with a focus on healthy beginnings, family supports and early learning and care.

Resources: NCSL Executive Summary: Supporting School Readiness in Infants and Toddlers.

12/06/2018—The Budgets and Revenue and the HHS Committee sponsored a session to examine rising health care costs in America.

Panelists discussed what is driving costs from the consumer, provider and administrative perspectives, and provided current resources and potential legislative actions states could take to address health care costs.

Resources: NCSL Blog on Addressing Rising Health Care Costs Session

12/06/2018—The HHS Committee ended the day of committee programming with a panel on “Changes Affecting the Health Insurance Market.” During this 75-minute meeting, HHS Deputy Secretary Will Brady discuss the Trump administration’s newest initiatives and panelists from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the Georgetown Center on Health Insurance Reform shared their expertise and knowledge. Many of our members appreciate that the speakers we invite not only provide context but can explain the options that states have available.

Resources: NCSL Health Insurance 50_State_Facts | PPT by Sabrina Corlette (CHIR) PPT by Brian Webb Private Health-Insurance  Session | the Commonwealth Fund_Resource_Sheet.

12/07/2018—NCSL’s HHS and Labor and Workforce Development standing committees explored the opportunities at the state and federal levels to provide employment services to noncustodial parents and increase child support payments in the process.

The Committees heard from child support directors from Colorado and Texas, Larry Desbien and Mara Friesen, respectively, as well as Scott Lekan, commissioner of the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, and Clarence Carter, director of the Office of Family Assistance.

The full HHS Capitol Forum Agenda, including additional resource, are still available.

For more information on NCSL’s Health and Human Services Standing Committee State-Federal Affairs activities, please visit our website, or email Haley Nicholson or Abbie Gruwell

NCSL's Advocacy in Washington

NCSL's Washington staff advocate Congress, the White House, and federal agencies on behalf of state legislatures in accord with the policy directives and resolutions that are recommended by the NCSL Standing Committees and adopted by the full conference at the annual NCSL Legislative Summit Business Meeting. As a result of the advocacy that is guided by these policies positions, NCSL is recognized as a formidable lobbying force in state-federal relations.

NCSL Staff in Washington, D.C.

  • Molly Ramsdell | 202-624-3584 | Director
  • Jake Lestock | 202-624-8171 | Budgets and Revenue
  • Susan Frederick | 202-624-3566 | Law, Criminal Justice, and Public Safety
  • Abbie Gruwell | 202-624-3569 | Human Services
  • Ben Husch | 202-624-7779 | Natural Resources and Infrastructure 
  • Jon Jukuri  | 202-624-8663 | Labor, Economic Development and International Trade
  • Haley Nicholson | 202-624-8662 | Health
  • Molly | 202-624-3584 | Commerce and Financial Services
  • Joan Wodiska | 202-624-3558 | Education