Category: Health Care

Why You Can’t Keep Your Health Care Plan

By Trent Leonard With the implementation of the federal health law commonly referred to as ObamaCare in full, disjointed, tragic swing, President Obama has confirmed what many long suspected: Even if you like it, you can’t keep your plan.  Cancellation notices have gone out to hundreds of thousands of consumers, with more expected. Georgia’s insurance commissioner, Ralph Hudgens, estimates the number of Georgians affected could reach 400,000. Now the question turns to why. What changed between the President’s infamous stump speech and the imbroglio of Healthcare.gov? The half-truth many believed in 2009 was their existing plans would be “grandfathered” – exempted from the new law. Existing plans were certainly going to have to comply with some of the new law’s… View Article
By Kelly McCutchen  KELLY McCUTCHENPresident, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has wisely resisted the lure of federal Medicaid dollars. Doubling down on faulty, unsustainable federal programs is what got this country into its current fiscal mess. What’s disappointing is that governors like Nathan Deal who request the flexibility to try new solutions are denied that opportunity. It’s “my way or the highway” with the federal government.  It’s inevitable: Americans will have to decide what’s more important, solving problems or scoring political points. The lack of access to health care is a real problem, but instead of being freed up to try new ideas, states are forced to choose the status quo or expanding a nearly 50-year-old Medicaid… View Article

The False Promise of Universal Health Insurance

By Greg Scandlen There are many things that might have been done to reform health care in the United States after Barack Obama was elected. The Affordable Care Act does begin to address some of these problems: It begins to break the bond of employers being the primary provider of health insurance coverage. This was always an odd idea that exists as an artifact of the wage and price freeze of World War Two. Employers were not allowed to raise wages to attract workers, so they began offering “fringe” benefits instead. Obamacare relieves smaller employers (under 50 workers) of any expectation of providing coverage and gives larger employers an affordable way out. It begins to move away from the regressive… View Article

How Do You Spell Confusion? E-x-c-h-a-n-g-e-s

By Ronald E. Bachman  On October 1 government insurance exchanges started operating. Some states built their own exchange (14). Some states partnered for certain administrative services with the federal government (17). Some states, wanting no part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act known as ObamaCare – Georgia included – decided to let the feds build the exchange (19).  We are entering a new and confusing world of Health Insurance Exchanges, also called Insurance Marketplaces. There are state, federal and private insurance exchanges. There are single and multiple carrier exchanges. There are agent/consultant operated, association operated, and insurance carrier run exchanges. The word “exchange” has even given way to the term “marketplace.”  What is a consumer to do? Where… View Article

Finding Young Blood to Fund ObamaCare

By Trent Leonard As the Oct. 1 deadline approaches for the launch of the Affordable Care Act’s state health insurance exchanges – “marketplaces” – the need to get young people to sign up for health insurance has been the subject of more and more media pieces.  Clearly, there are still significant logistical and monetary obstacles remaining in getting these exchanges off the ground, particularly for the 26 states, including Georgia, that let the Department of Health and Human Services implement a “federally facilitated exchange.” Let’s assume, however that some form of exchange, convoluted or not, is ready to accept enrollees in Georgia come October. Why is getting young people to enroll so important? Bluntly, they subsidize the rest of the… View Article
By Kelly McCutchen Expanding Medicaid under existing inflexible federal regulations would be unwise and irresponsible as a long-term solution for Georgia, but that doesn’t mean there are not more effective alternatives. The question should not focus on whether to expand a specific program such as Medicaid. The question is how does Georgia best provide access to quality health care to our poorest citizens in a way that is fiscally sustainable. Put another way, Georgia’s response to covering the uninsured should be, “Yes, if we can spend the money in a flexible way that addresses underlying, fundamental health care problems we are willing to accept federal assistance.” That is a more constructive response than, “No, we are not interested in your… View Article

DCH Board Should Be Deliberate

Today, the board of the Georgia Department of Community Health will consider a proposal to consolidate its health insurance options and contract with just one insurance carrier. We believe the board should be deliberate in its decision due to the large impact the state health plan has on Georgia’s health care market. The savings by such a move have been reported to be as much as $500 million. That would be good news to state taxpayers. Yet, the board must also consider the long-term impact of this decision as well as the impact on the state’s health care market. Choosing a single provider, as capable as that carrier may be, must be weighed against other concerns. Even though the state… View Article

Looking Ahead: More Hurdles for ObamaCare

Looking Ahead: More Hurdles for ObamaCare  By Ronald Bachman  Last week’s commentary, “ObamaCare Implementation Stumbles Along,” focused on the confirmed challenges in implementing the Affordable Care Act. Based on the already-checkered if brief past, the federal health law can expect even more implementation struggles moving forward.  Among them:  Health insurance exchanges: 27 states declared they would not establish a state run health insurance exchange. These states have defaulted to federally facilitated exchange. Will the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) be ready to implement these exchanges that are required to go live on October 1, 2013? There are serious doubts. In fact, Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute made a prediction earlier this week that an announcement will… View Article

ObamaCare Implementation: Stumbling Along

By Ronald E. Bachman On July 2, 2013, just a few short months before significant portions of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) were to take effect, a Treasury Department official announced the Obama Administration will “provide an additional year before the ACA mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin.” “Provide” is a generous description. A mounting list of problems and failures plagues key aspects of the law, the most recent being the announced delays until 2015. Postponed by fiat of the Health and Human Services Department, the coverage mandate requires businesses of 50 or more employees to provide health insurance or pay a penalty. Along with the individual mandate, it was supposed to be key to solving the uninsured… View Article

What if the Exchanges Are Not Ready on Time?

By John Goodman On October 1, millions of Americans are supposed to be able to go online and acquire health insurance on electronic exchanges in the states where they live. But a new GAO report is raising an issue I raised in The Wall Street Journal: What happens if the exchanges aren’t ready? Already, the Department of Health and Human Services has thrown in the towel on small-business exchanges that were supposed to allow employees to choose among competing health plans. The opportunity to make those choices has been put off for at least a year, leaving small-business employees with only their employer’s plans as options. As for individuals acquiring insurance on their own, the only states that have… View Article

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