Chris Woodward   ( Tuesday, September 09, 2014

A policy analyst likes a new plan that aims to curb healthcare costs – but admits she's surprised who's putting the plan out there.

The Accountable Care States plan, which is being promoted by the left-leaning Center for American Progress, allows individual states to set their own targets on curbing the growth of healthcare spending. Success would result in their sharing a piece of the Medicare and Medicaid savings. Participation is voluntary, something Republicans favor – and states would need to maintain coverage levels and enforce things like consumer quality, which Democrats support.

Hadley Heath Manning, director of health policy at the Independent Women's Forum, says "it's always good" when the government is willing to decentralize some of its power and decision-making.

"[But] it's interesting to me that the very progressive Center for American Progress would support this plan," she offers. "They were very supportive of the Affordable Care Act, which initially required states to expand their Medicaid program."

Manning adds that Republicans were in favor of things like Medicaid block grants before ObamaCare. But regardless of who came up with the idea, she says if there are liberals interested in cost control, then this is something toward which lawmakers should be able to work together.

"The fact that we continue to have discussions about cost control is an indication that the Affordable Care Act isn't really meeting that goal or providing that policy strategy for how to control costs," she notes. "For a country that doesn't have single-payer [system] or socialized medicine, we rank very high among the countries of the world in terms of public spending."

Supporters are reportedly taking the idea to Congress. It's possible it could win favor from some lawmakers, as The Associated Press reports several former Obama and Clinton aides have signed on to the plan.