State Policy Network

Make It Permanent

State solutions for expanding healthcare quality and access

The Opportunity for States

Forty states passed state-level emergency healthcare reform during the peak of the pandemic, making more ground in healthcare in 17 days than we have seen in the last decade. Every win in the states proves that we don’t need government-run healthcare to deliver quality, affordable healthcare to people when they need it most. Most Americans (64%) continue to say that healthcare is a top priority for the country, and 38 percent believe we need to replace the Affordable Care Act with a system that prioritizes transparency, freedom of choice, and cost-effective care.

States are in the best position to respond to the needs of their communities and improve healthcare to expand access, reduce cost, and provide a better experience for patients. States can accomplish this in 2021 by making permanent the healthcare solutions that were crafted in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

State Healthcare Solutions

Expand the number of healthcare responders

Reform scope-of-practice laws to allow more healthcare professionals, such as nurse practitioners and pharmacists, to provide care.

See scope-of-practice reform resources

Eliminate certificate-of-need laws

Stop forcing providers to obtain a government permission slip for equipment and facilities in order to compete.

See certificate-of-need reform resources

Expand telehealth

Give patients the ability to see a doctor for non-urgent needs virtually, making it easier and safer to get care.

See telehealth expansion resources

Remove licensing barriers

Allow professionals to serve where the need is greatest by practicing across state lines.

End surprise medical billing

Require hospitals and providers to give patients the cost of treatment before they get billed.


40% say we need to replace the Affordable Care Act with a system that prioritizes transparency, choice, and cost-effectiveness.

38% say we should fix the ACA.

One in five voters think we should have universal government healthcare.

State Healthcare Reform Tracker

This tracker shows where pandemic-related healthcare reforms have been enacted. Reforms range from narrow adjustments to broad changes, and states accomplished reforms through a mix of executive orders, legislation, or a combination of both.

Explainer Video: What states have done to combat the coronavirus pandemic

Additional Healthcare Resources

State Policy Network

Healthcare Toolkit: Ten Reforms State Lawmakers Can Implement Now

This toolkit covers healthcare reforms that may be tailored to individual states. Many of these solutions have already been taken up by some states and are making a difference in the quality, cost, and accessibility of healthcare. From telemedicine to direct primary care to repealing certificate-of-need laws, this toolkit provides an action plan for state-level reforms.

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State Policy Network

Medicaid Waiver Toolkit

This toolkit outlines twenty reforms that states can pursue to overcome Washington’s bureaucratic red tape. By taking advantage of opportunities that already exist and demanding even greater flexibility through the process, states can innovate with more affordable, accessible, market- driven healthcare solutions whether or not Washington passes reforms dismantling the Affordable Care Act. The reforms envision a Medicaid program that has resources to help the truly needy and has transitioned healthy adults into the workforce where they can live better.

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SPN Healthcare Working Group

SPN’s Healthcare Working Group provides a platform where state think tanks collaborate on ideas for advancing state-level healthcare reforms, share best practices, and serve as a voice for states in DC and across the 50-state Network.

State Healthcare Experts

State Policy Network

Kathleen O'Hearn

This area would show a brief bio about this expert and his or her expertise.

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