A new survey from the Commonwealth Foundation finds that actual health care policy experts from across the ideological spectrum don’t buy the GOP/Mitt Romney argument that the Affordable Care Act is a one-size-fits-all solution that hampers state innovation and undermines local autonomy. In fact, according to the findings from the latest Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey, a majority of respondents — 203 individuals from the fields of academia and research; health care delivery; business, insurance, and other health industries; and government, labor, and advocacy groups — actually believe that the federal government should have more authority, not less:
41 percent of opinion leaders said the federal government should have more authority and 29 percent say that the law has struck an appropriate balance between states’ and the federal government’s roles. Only 25 percent of respondents thought the states should have more authority.
On many health care reform provisions, opinion leaders were somewhat more likely to think the federal government should have a stronger role. For instance, under the law, new federal rules will prohibit insurers from restricting coverage or basing premiums on health status or gender. Half of health care opinion leaders support granting the federal government more power to set such health insurance market rules; 23 percent feel the law got the balance between the federal government and states about right. In addition, half of respondents favor a stronger role for the federal government in developing and spreading innovative provider payment methods, including new models like accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes.
What’s more, 61 percent supported the creation of a federal health insurance exchange and 42 percent said there should be more federal authority over the health insurance exchanges. So policy wonks, as it turns out, prefer a more comprehensive national approach to reform rather than the patchwork — states are mostly on their own — solutions that national GOP figures are trying to advance.