2012 CSG National Leadership Conference

Reform, whether mandated by the Affordable Care Act or not, is needed to address citizens' demands for quality health care services. Medicaid, state employee health care and now, health insurance exchanges are potential policy levers to increase quality, improve states' health outcomes and hold the line on costs. This session highlighted replicable initiatives undertaken by states to build an improved health care system responsive to today's fiscal policy context.

The U.S.'s borders with Canada and Mexico are the subject of frequent and sometimes heated debates regarding trade, security and immigration. America's frontiers across the Caribbean basin and along the Arctic, however, have received little attention, but are just as vital for the future of commerce and public safety. This session featured discussions of the economic opportunities and security challenges along these forgotten borders and the impact that developments in these regions will have on states.

Finance at the state and federal levels and alternatives to the gas tax are two major topics in the transportation discussion. In addition, as high-speed rail is put on the backburner elsewhere, the dream is still alive in California. This session focused on how infrastruture investment can impact the road construction industry and a company like UPS. Speakers also discussed what California has planned in high-speed rail and what it could mean for the rest of the country.

Policymakers, parents and stakeholders are demanding improvements in public education by raising metrics of academic success, pushing for progress in low performing schools, and raising the bar on teacher and leader effectiveness. Differences in funding formulas, allocations and revenue have created disparate funding across the states. These variations in spending per student impact the educational opportunities provided as states ramp up their educational reform. This session highlighted various options states can implement to address the critical budget deficits.

This session sought to explain diabetes and the disease’s burden on individuals, society, and the health care system and to demonstrate effective state policies to prevent and treat people affected by diabetes and diabetes-related complications. Attendees learned about the state of science around prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. We also discussed new policy initiatives that apply a public health template to diabetes. Successful state policy initiatives were presented by sponsoring legislators and supporting advocates.

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