The 2021-22 CSG Healthy States National Task Force is a bipartisan working group of state leaders from all three branches of government. The task force is working to develop resources and recommendations to improve state civic, economic and workforce, fiscal and human health.

National Task Force members convened in July Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for their third meeting. They discussed policy issues including civic participation, apprenticeship, telemedicine and blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Civic Health Subcommittee – Civic Participation

The Civic Health Subcommittee heard from Andrea Benjamin, a professor at the University of Oklahoma, who led a conversation on how to advance state civic health through changes to election rules, improvement in public understanding of how government works, higher participation in the political process and greater understanding among voters about the importance of their individual ballots.

After Benjamin’s presentation, the subcommittee developed a series of policy recommendations, including how to improve youth participation through programs focusing on their state’s election processes. A full recap of the Civic Health Subcommittee meeting is available here.

Economic and Workforce Subcommittee – Apprenticeships

During the Economic and Workforce Health Subcommittee meeting, Dina Klimkina —  program director for education and workforce at the CSG Center of Innovation — discussed how apprenticeships can be an important policy tool for state workforce strategies. Apprenticeships fill workforce gaps and offer residents gainful career preparation alternatives to traditional four-year degree programs. State policymakers can support the expansion of apprenticeships by:

  • Creating task forces with private sector partners to build apprenticeship programs and evaluate how existing programs can be expanded.
  • Working with neighboring states to develop reciprocity agreements so that credentials transfer from state to state.
  • Becoming model employers by launching civic sector apprenticeships.

During the subcommittee’s working session, task force members discussed how to invest in pre-apprenticeship programs for adults seeking enhanced skills and better jobs. A full recap of the Economic And Workforce Health Subcommittee meeting may be found here.

Fiscal Health Subcommittee – Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

During the Fiscal Health Subcommittee meeting, Tonya Evans, a professor of law at Penn State Dickinson Law, provided a detailed explanation of blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies. Evans urged the subcommittee to think of these technologies as digital assets and provided examples of how states are experimenting with accepting cryptocurrencies as payment for business and individual taxes.

In their working session, subcommittee members discussed the importance of public education about blockchain and cryptocurrency and explored the possibility of implementing blockchain technology in economic sectors such as agriculture and insurance. A full recap of the Fiscal Health Subcommittee meeting may be found here.

Human Health Subcommittee – Telemedicine

During the Human Health Subcommittee meeting, Kyle Zebley — vice president of public policy at the American Telemedicine Association — presented on the benefits of telehealth adoption and recent policy trends in making virtual care delivery systems effective across states. Zebley focused on the following:

  • Creating interstate compacts to allow telehealth care providers to work across state lines.
  • Establishing patient/provider relationships virtually.
  • Prescribing controlled substances via telehealth.
  • Expanding provider types.
  • Expanding service ties.
  • Pushing health care delivery to be modality neutral. 

Subcommittee members discussed the importance of telemedicine for specific populations and needs, such as mental health care for children. The subcommittee also explored related issues such as privacy concerns and the specific cost saving potential for state programs. A full recap of the Human Health Subcommittee meeting may be found here.

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