This paper argues that collaborative governance should be an essential component in any HIFA waiver proposal, due to the fact that the health care system is moving away from a federal and hierarchical program design and implementation towards a more local, collaborative approach. As several current collaborative projects demonstrate, collaboration may overcome barriers to health expansion program success, such as stakeholder buy-in, notice, and state access to private health coverage information. Furthermore, collaboration within the context of the HIFA waiver process may maximize the strengths of current collaborations, such as providing: (a) access to greater and more stable funding sources; (b) access to a facilitator that can collect and distribute data; and (c) an avenue for accountability. Multiple challenges in ensuring collaborative governance are reviewed. Ms. Zabawa argues that these challenges are not insurmountable if states adopt a truly collaborative approach to designing and implementing programs under the HIFA waiver; there may be hope in expanding and improving health coverage, since collaboration is the most appropriate mechanism to address the complexity of health system reform.

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