Category: Health Care

With Health IT, Familiarity Breeds Content

By Greg Scandlen Health Affairs recently announced its top 15 articles for 2013, and has made them available to nonsubscribers. The top article was by a pair of RAND researchers updating what is known about the health information technology (HIT) roll out from the 2009 HITECH law, appropriating $20 billion to upgrade information technology throughout the health care system. It doesn’t take long ― like just the abstract ― to figure out that people haven’t learned a blessed thing from flushing $20 billion down the toilet.  A team of RAND Corporation researchers projected in 2005 that rapid adoption of health information technology (IT) could save the United States more than $81 billion annually. This original “study” was horrendously flawed. They… View Article

Georgia Should Maintain its Leadership in Charity Care

Regardless of Georgia’s decision on Medicaid expansion, hundreds of thousands of Georgians will remain uninsured. One immediate way to help the uninsured (and save money) is to provide access to primary care clinics instead of expensive and unnecessary trips to emergency rooms. Thanks to leadership and private support, Georgia is a national leader in charity care. Leveraging this great asset should be the first step to helping the indigent and uninsured. In 2004, the Sutherland Institute of Utah, a state-based think tank like the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, published a study titled, “To the Least of These – A Moral Case for Providing Authentic Charity Care.” The study, and a later study in 2008, outlined a charitable health… View Article

Nine Reasons to Question Medicaid Expansion

The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) expanded Medicaid to all individuals under age 65 with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). The U.S. Supreme Court ruled, however, that states are not mandated to expand Medicaid coverage. As of January 2014, Georgia and 23 other states had chosen not to expand Medicaid. Although most reports have indicated 650,000 uninsured individuals are impacted by Georgia’s Medicaid expansion decision, approximately 240,000 have incomes between 100 percent and 400 percent of the FPL and will be eligible for subsidies in the exchange. That leaves about 410,000 who have incomes below the poverty level but are not currently eligible for Medicaid or other subsidies.[1] So by… View Article

Long-Term Care (LTC)

Georgia faces multi-faceted long-term care problems including: A rapidly increasing elderly population Higher numbers of recipients with disabilities or dementia A Medicaid program already strained as the principal LTC payer Dependence on funding from the heavily indebted federal government State revenues constrained by recessionary pressures and limited future economic prospects Very little private financing of LTC to relieve the budgetary pressure on public programs Heavy public dependency on social programs and a growing “entitlement mentality” among the citizenry LTC is expensive whether received in a nursing home, an assisted living facility or in one’s own home.[1] The risk of needing some form of long-term care after age 65 is 69%.[2] The catastrophic risk of needing five years or… View Article
“Because policymakers expected all states to expand Medicaid and thus reduce their uninsured populations, the Affordable Care Act also included a schedule of accelerating cuts to Disproportionate Share Hospital payments, reaching $5.6 billion by fiscal year 2019, according to Governing magazine. “But thanks to lobbying around the budget deal reached last month, the Disproportionate Share Hospital program dodged $500 billion in cuts in 2014 and another $600 billion in 2015.” “The delay is a particularly big deal for our county hospitals that are not doing the Medicaid expansion,” Beddoe said. “We also can’t overlook the fact that there are public hospitals in states that are expanding that will breathe a sigh of relief because of the high number of… View Article

Ten Obamacare Predictions for 2014

By Grace-Marie Turner Grace-Marie TurnerPresident, Galen Institute To kick off 2014, Kathleen Sebelius is reportedly papering the country with op-eds about the wonders of the “Affordable” Care Act. But her PR campaign aside, things will continue to deteriorate for Obamacare in 2014. Here are ten ways it’ll happen: 1. Many won’t pay: A sizable share of the 2 million people who selected a private insurance plan before the 2013 deadline will not pay their share of the premiums and therefore won’t be covered by the plans in which the White House says they “enrolled.” Enrolling, by the White House definition, is actually just selecting a plan — the same as putting an item in the shopping basket at Amazon.… View Article

Singapore’s Welfare Model

In transitioning away from the failed federal “War on Poverty” and its massive entitlement programs, the United States could examine the Singapore model of social welfare as a transition. This model replaces high taxes and large entitlement spending with mandatory savings where the government serves as a safety valve. NCPA’s John Goodman on the subject: In 1984, Richard Rahn and I wrote an editorial in The Wall Street Journal in which we proposed a savings account for health care. We called it a Medical IRA. That same year, Singapore instituted a related idea: a system of compulsory Medisave accounts. Through the years, my colleagues and I at the National Center for Policy Analysis have kept track of the Singapore… View Article

Georgia Medicaid Expansion – Woodwork Effect

Even if Georgia decides not to expand Medicaid eligibility, the state could be facing a $385 million annual increase in Medicaid costs. This comes on the heels of the provider fee increase this year that raised $689 million to fill a shortfall in the Medicaid program. The Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) projects that ObamaCare will cost Georgia taxpayers $225 million in FY 2015. This includes the cost of individuals who are currently eligible for Medicaid but not enrolled signing up for coverage due to the “woodwork effect” — literally thousands of new Medicaid enrollees “coming out of the woodwork” to sign up for Medicaid. The Urban Institute estimates there are 159,000 adult, low-income Georgians who are eligible for View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is something that I am proud to be a part of today. The research conducted by education groups like yours is invaluable in helping form opinions and allowing people to reach conclusions that ultimately help them make the right decisions.

Dan Amos, CEO, AFLAC more quotes