Author: Kelly McCutchen

Consumers have no idea how much they pay for health care, so it’s not surprising they often overpay, but 683 percent?! Patients pay as much as 683 percent more for the same medical procedures, such as MRIs or CT scans, in the same town, depending on which doctor they choose, according to a new study by a national health care group, reports USA Today. For a pelvic CT scan, they found that within one town in the Southwest, a person could pay as little as $230 for the procedure, or as a much as $1,800. For a brain MRI in a town in the Northeast, a person could pay $1,540 — or $3,500. Howard McClure, CEO of Change:healthcare says… View Article

The Worst Health Care Plan in the Nation? Medicaid

"Medicaid is arguably the worst health care program in the country," says Galen Institute President Grace-Marie Turner. "Recipients are promised a long list of benefits, but doctors who participate in the program are paid so little, and the paperwork is so onerous, that many can afford to see only a few Medicaid patients. As a result, patients flood to hospital emergency rooms where — if they wait long enough — they eventually will be seen. Many have only routine health complaints that easily could have been handled in a doctor's office. A study by the National Center for Health Statistics found that Medicaid recipients were more likely to have multiple emergency room visits in a year than… View Article

Joel Klein on Digital Learning

Education Week features a recent interview with former New York City Chancellor Joel Klein, who is now heading the education division of News Corp. Here are excerpts:   The education division's guiding principle is that we've got to change from a 20th century–or even late 19th century–model of classroom instruction to a more individualized, differentiated model. We've got immense new opportunities to do this now. Much, much more digitized content is available today than was ever the case before. Technology and digitization offer a very powerful way to supplement a teacher's delivery of instruction with multiple modalities. We're seeing this now at School of One, Rocketship Academies, Carpe Diem in Arizona…and global models that are moving in this direction.… View Article

New Study Shows Income Tax Rate Could Go to 4% or Lower Immediately

Georgia could have a flat income tax with a rate of 4 percent — or lower — immediately, according to a new study by Georgia State University. The Tax Reform Council's final report was missing several numbers, causing conservative and liberal groups to react negatively to the proposal. Conservatives argued that phasing in the tax rate reductions over three years and possibly starting as high as 5 percent, was a massive tax increase. Liberals argued that the tax reduction was not enough to offset sales tax increases on low- and middle-income families and senior citizens. Now the missing numbers have been filled in. Although the numbers are still not disaggregated, these new estimates include a $2,000 exemption for dependents… View Article

Legal Opinion: Health Care Reform Is Struck Down Immediately in Georgia

Speaking at the Georgia State Capitol this week, Heritage Foundation Senior Legal Fellow Robert Alt clarified that Judge Vinson's ruling serves as the equivalent of an injunction, immediately striking down the law in Georgia and the other 25 states participating in the lawsuit.… View Article

New Study Shows Medicaid Expansion Could Outstrip Georgia’s Primary Care Capacity

Georgia ranks second in a new study by the The New England Journal of Medicine on the challenges of serving Obamacare’s dramatically increased Medicaid population. "Eight states – Oklahoma, Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Nevada, North Carolina, and Kentucky – face the greatest challenges. These states are expected to have large Medicaid expansions yet now have weak primary care capacity. In the absence of additional efforts, the demand for care by newly insured patients could outstrip the supply of primary care providers in these states."… View Article

Criminal Justice Reform Has Bipartisan Support

Larry Peterson reports in the Savannah Morning News: Gov. Nathan Deal says he's moving ahead to reduce Georgia's prison population by diverting non-violent drug offenders to other programs. Deal touted the idea – already being implemented in some parts of Georgia, including Chatham County – in his Jan. 10 inaugural speech. "One out of every 13 Georgia residents is under some form of correctional control," he said. "It costs about $3 million per day to operate our Department of Corrections." A 2009 national report said drug-related crimes were listed as the primary offense for about 17 percent of Georgia's prisoners. Deal has made it clear he's not interested in springing repeat or violent offenders. But locking up non-violent offenders… View Article

Poor, elderly and disabled could benefit if health care law overturned

Who will be hurt the most by the health reform legislation Congress passed last year? The most vulnerable segments of society: the poor, the elderly and the disabled, according to Dr. John Goodman.  Goodman's economic analysis of the outcome if the law is implemented: Thirty-two million otherwise uninsured people will try to double their consumption of medical care. Almost everyone with private insurance and all Medicare enrollees will try to increase their consumption of preventive services — promised without deductible or copayment. With no increase in supply, doctors and patients will face a huge rationing problem. There will be up to 900,000 additional emergency room visits and the time price of care (rationing by waiting) will jump substantially at every… View Article

Audit Finds Drug Courts Reduce Recidivism and Save Taxpayers Money

WABE reports: "The 40-page 2010 state audit finds about seven-percent of defendants who participate in a county drug court were convicted again within two years. That's one-fourth the recidivism rate compared to those who served their sentence at a state prison. Expanding drug courts, the Department of Audits and Accounts report shows, could save the state $8 million compared to the cost of incarceration. And that's only if 20% of eligible offenders participated. The problem — only about half Georgia's counties are served by a drug court. In metro Atlanta, Clayton, Douglas, Paulding, and Cherokee counties are among those without drug court access."… View Article

To have an organization dedicated to the study of the problems that face Georgia in a bipartisan way….is absolutely one of the finest things that’s happened to our state.

The late W. H. Flowers, Jr., Chairman, Flowers industries, Inc. more quotes