Category: Health Care

By Brenda C. Fitzgerald, Albert S. Hanser and David H. Hovey Our medical system is out of control. Costs are rising so rapidly and unpredictably that no busi­ness or individual can sensibly plan for the future. Physicians are limiting services and insurance costs are skyrocketing. Neither government pro­grams nor private insur­ance carriers seem to be able to regain control. One segment of the system most clearly out of control is that which deals with bad medical outcomes. The impact of our inability to control this area is disproportionately greater than the actual number of cases involved and greatly affects cost and the entire health care system. One of the most alarming results has been the decrease in availability of physicians’… View Article
By Governor Sonny Perdue  The transformation of health and health care in Georgia forum is another example of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation leading a thoughtful discussion on one of the most challenging issues that Georgia faces. Since forming in 1991, the Foundation has earned a reputation for tackling those tough issues with high quality research and analysis. In areas like taxation, education and welfare reform, the Foundation’s impact has been felt, with effective solutions based on a free-market perspective and the principles of limited government. So I’m glad that you’re now focusing on our health care system. Maintaining personal health, having access to quality health care and paying for health care are concerns that touch every Georgia family. And… View Article
By Newt Gingrich The nation’s health-care crisis has infected every state including Georgia, where acute symptoms have appeared. Nine percent of Georgians have spent an entire year uninsured, according to the Georgia Department of Community Health’s Georgia Healthcare Coverage Project, while 1.3 million are covered by a Medicaid program whose budget continues to outpace projections. State officials have been forced to contemplate cuts in spending, and therefore in programs. Simultaneously, vital services such as obstetric care and emergency room surgery are threatened as doctors decide they can no longer practice beneath a burden of skyrocketing medical liability premiums and the threat of litigation from trial lawyers. The Georgia Board for Physician Workforce, a legislative advisory board, says Georgia already ranks… View Article
By Kelly McCutchen From an economic perspective, it’s not surprising that health care costs keep rising. Although we may not believe it so, most of us are insulated from the majority of health care costs by a tax code that favors employer-purchased health insurance. We pre-pay the majority of our health care expenses through health insurance. But because employers bear most of the cost of insurance for the average employee, most people have no idea how much their insurance really costs. Employees who complain, for example, when their co-payments for an office visit increase from $10 to $25, often are  oblivious that their annual insurance premium – paid for by their employer – may have increased by $1,000.  Co-payments and… View Article

Maine strategy no prescription drug solution

By Nina Owcharenko The United States Supreme Court recently issued a decision (PHRMA v. Walsh) to allow Maine Rx, a Maine government program requiring prescription drug discounts, to move forward.   While the Court’s decision focused on matters of law, and not policy, health policy makers at the federal level and in every state of the Union should resist accepting this as an endorsement of policy and instead re-evaluate the real effects such a government pricing proposal would have on the delivery of health care.   Unintended Consequences of Maine Rx Under the Maine Rx program, states would provide prescription drugs at a discount to residents who are without coverage by requiring pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide a rebate similar to… View Article

End Health Care Discrimination: Give Cash a Chance

By Kelly McCutchen The customer with cash is often rewarded with a discount, but try paying cash for your next doctor’s visit and you most likely will pay up to twice as much as everyone else. It’s not that doctors don’t like cash. They are simply caught up in the crazy Rube Goldberg machine that we call our modern health care system. When managed care organizations establish their provider networks, they are often able to negotiate steep discounts from the providers’ standard rates. By setting their standard rates higher, doctors and hospitals are able to increase their discounted payments from managed care organizations. These standard rates, inflated far above the actual cost of service, are the prices that everyone outside… View Article

Georgia Should Lift Ban on Mail-Order Prescriptions

By Kelly McCutchen It seems that just about everyone has caught on that ordering prescriptions by mail can help health-care consumers save hundreds and even thousands of dollars. But Georgians can’t count their savings just yet: Georgia law prohibits Georgia pharmacies from mailing prescriptions to individuals. The purpose of the law is to protect the walk-in retail trade of corner drug stores. That well-intended protectionism carries a hefty price: Georgians are unable to reap the cost-savings and convenience that consumers across the nation are enjoying. The General Assembly should consider putting the benefits of millions of consumers over the parochial interests of a few pharmacists. Ordering pharmaceuticals by mail is so popular and cost-effective that most large employers give employees… View Article

Expanding Health Insurance Coverage in Georgia

William S. Custer   There are two primary reasons why the number of Georgians without health insurance is an important public policy issue.  First, there is a public health concern that lack of health insurance may result in sicker, less productive individuals.  Second, health care is not denied to those without health insurance. In fact, they consume a considerable amount of health care resources.  The cost of treating the uninsured is borne by taxpayers, by purchasers of private insurance, by providers, and by local communities.  These costs are not distributed efficiently or equitably. The uninsured face a much different process of health care than those with insurance.  They are much less likely to have a usual source of care, more… View Article

Georgia Denies Seniors Choice

Kelly McCutchen My great-grandfather lived through the Depression and, like many of his peers, was fiercely independent. At the age of 92 he decided that, due to his age, living by himself in the home where he had spent the previous 25 years was no longer realistic. However, a nursing home was not only a threat to his independence, he simply did not need the level of care provided by a nursing home. Luckily, one of the first assisted-living homes in the nation had recently opened in his neighborhood, and he became one of its first residents. For him, assisted living was very similar to moving into a condominium. He could use his own furniture, he had his own entrance,… View Article
By Merrill Matthews, Jr. The following article originally appeared in the August 1998 issue of the Georgia Policy Review. Reprinted with permission from the National Center for Policy Analysis. Merrill Matthews Jr. is the vice president of domestic policy at the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) in Dallas, Texas. A National Public Radio story on William Delashmit, 72, recently highlighted the problem of Medicare private contracting. Delashmit suffers from Cogan’s dystrophy, an abnormality of the cornea that has caused him to lose sight in his right eye. There is a 95 percent chance laser surgery could restore his sight. Unfortunately, Dr. William Stark of Johns Hopkins University, Delashmit’s physician, may not be able to help him. According to… View Article

I wanted to publicly say how much I appreciate Georgia Public Policy Foundation.  For those of you that will be entering the Legislature or are relatively new you may not quite yet appreciate how much we rely on Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s research and work.  As you know we’re a citizen’s legislature.  We have very little staff. They have been an invaluable, invaluable resource to us.  To put this [Forum] on and the regular programs that they do throughout the year make us better at what we do. (At the 2012 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum.)

Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones more quotes