Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell recently held a forum in Portland, Maine, to gather information about lessons learned from innovative state-level initiatives, such as Maine's Dirigo Health Reforms. Participants also discussed the challenge of providing affordable health care coverage through private insurance companies, and strategies for improving the quality and effectiveness of health care itself, while holding down the costs of providing that care.
The event was the third forum held by the Bipartisan Policy Center's (BPC) Leader's Project on the State of American Health Care. The project is co-chaired by former U.S. Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell and is an unprecedented effort to help break political gridlock regarding health care reform. Early in 2009, the project leaders will recommend politically viable policies to address the delivery, cost, coverage and financing challenges facing the nation's health care system. The project is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.