To be successful in shaping state health coverage expansion proposals and policies, the consumer organizations funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Consumer Voices for Coverage (CVC) grant program must be recognized by state policy-makers as having an important role to play in policy debates. CVC supports state-based consumer health advocacy networks to increase their capacity to participate with key stakeholders, such as businesses, hospitals, insurers, providers and government officials, in health care reform efforts.
As CVC began implementation, an assessment of policy-makers’ views was conducted between July and October 2008. Mathematica Policy Research conducted baseline interviews with key policy-makers in each of the 12 CVC states. Interviewers asked about consumer advocacy groups’ role, involvement and influence in shaping health coverage policy at the start of the CVC grant program. Another round of interviews with state policy-makers will be conducted toward the end of the four-year RWJF grant to assess their opinions about the contributions of consumer groups to health coverage policy during the 2008-2011 grant period.