Rod Blagojevich Illinois (D)
Along with Mitt Romney of Massachusetts (who is not seeking reelection), Blagojevich has led the way in expanding health coverage. Each year in office, he has raised the income threshold for participation in the Illinois FamilyCare program, steadily making affordable coverage available to more families at a time when fewer employers are offering insurance. In 2006, 56,000 more parents will be eligible compared with 2005. He also deserves credit for providing universal coverage to kids.
Jim Douglas Vermont (R)
The program set up under the Health Care Affordability Act of 2006, which Douglas helped to craft, is one of the most ambitious in the country. Unlike many state programs, it will be run through private insurers. Although companies will be penalized for declining to insure a large number of workers, employers should ultimately realize lower costs.
Bill Richardson New Mexico (D)
In 2005, he expanded the state insurance program to cover 21,000 additional people. The new policies are open to businesses with 50 or fewer workers and offer employers the option to join pools.
Rick Perry Texas (R)
He approved employer pools, expanded coverage to 100,000 more kids, and capped notoriously high medical liability claims in Texas.