Tag: Georgia Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Committee

By Ronald E. Bachman Selling health insurance policies across state lines has been a key item in Republicans’ health care alternative reform proposals. But only about 5 percent of the policies sold in the United States are to individuals.  There are many reasons for the paucity of sales, including the lack of employer-based tax advantages and inadequate financial value for agents selling policies one at a time. Multiple versions of “cross-state selling” exist. One allows individuals to purchase insurance from any state, in theory increasing choice and circumventing some burdensome and expensive home state coverage mandates. Critics argue that insurance products will be promoted from states with worse coverage and the fewest consumer protections. Another criticism is that insurers will… View Article
By Kelly McCutchen KELLY McCUTCHEN It’s been a rough summer for health care. Sixteen of the 23 federally funded, not-for-profit Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (co-ops) have now failed. Humana reduced its Georgia coverage area and Cigna, UnitedHealthcare and Aetna have completely pulled out of Georgia’s federally managed insurance exchange. Most premium rate increase requests for 2017 are in the double digits – the weighted average increase is 27 percent. We got ours in the mail last week: 16 percent. In some parts of Georgia, the outlook is worse. With little competition, rural Georgia has the dubious distinction of some of the nation’s highest health care prices and worst health care outcomes. Four rural hospitals recently were forced to close,… View Article

Above All, Do No Digital Harm

John Graham of the National Center for Policy Analysis writes a column in Forbes warning against congressional overreach as telemedicine moves forward across the nation. The article is printed below; the Forbes link is here. First, Do No Digital Harm: Regulating Telemedicine By John Graham Telemedicine, whereby physicians use email, phone, text, or video for prescribing and consultations, is growing rapidly. Seeking to encourage faster uptake of telemedicine, many well-intentioned parties are prodding Congress to take actions which will likely have harmful unintended consequences. So far, Congress has done well. With respect to regulating actual devices, the 21st Century Cures Act, passed by the House in 2015 with overwhelming bipartisan support, is forward thinking. If passed into law,… View Article

Checking Up On Health: July 5, 2016

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd Mixed Reviews BENITA DODD If you ever wondered why, six years later, it remains difficult to overturn ObamaCare, consider the mixed reviews of the nation’s experts to the white paper Republicans released last month about their planned health insurance reforms. Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute is not impressed .Writing in Forbes, Cannon makes nine points of where he believes Republicans fall short, and prefaces that with this disclaimer: “Don’t get me wrong. The plan is not all bad. Where it matters most, however, House Republicans would repeal ObamaCare only to replace it with slightly modified versions of that law’s worst provisions.” The Reason Foundation’s Peter Suderman echoes… View Article

Checking Up On Health: March 29, 2016

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD The law and unintended consequences One of the pieces of legislation that passed in the Georgia General Assembly is known as the Honorable Jimmy Carter Cancer Treatment Access Act. It’s prefaced with the statement that, “on December 6, President Carter revealed that his physicians said that all signs of cancer were gone.” The former president, you may recall, was diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and it had spread to his brain and liver. He was 91 years old at diagnosis. He continues to undergo treatment; he says his doctors found no trace of the lesions. The legislation, HB 965, mandates: No health… View Article

Georgia Needs Direct Care Now

By Hal C. Scherz The Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed with the promise of decreasing the high costs of health care and increasing access to care by making health care insurance more affordable. Almost six years later, it appears that this experiment to remake American health care has been a failure. The average American now pays over $4,000 more for health care insurance, with deductibles in the $6,000 range. Meanwhile, 10-15 million Americans still lack health insurance. The ACA has disrupted the health insurance market, making it difficult for healthy young Americans to purchase insurance. Of the 23 Federal-state insurance co-ops, 11 have declared bankruptcy and all are in the red except one. All insurance companies participating in the insurance… View Article

Innovation is the True Health Care Solution

By Josh Daniels Political support for Medicaid expansion in Georgia is on life support and the prognosis may be terminal. This doesn’t mean, however, there isn’t a pathway forward for those looking for health care solutions. It’s the same pathway that has solved many of our problems: innovation. Each Medicaid expansion proposal has been a reaction to the failure of federal policy in attempting to address the “coverage gap.” But the gap is only a symptom of the underlying disease. The Affordable Care Act did little to actually make care affordable. In fact, it aggravated the very conditions that have driven health care costs up: regulation and government intervention. ObamaCare put more patients into the system with no corresponding increase… View Article

Reforming Medicaid with Technology

By Merrill Matthews  Every state is looking for ways to reduce its Medicaid spending. Here’s an untested idea: Integrate existing technology to help Medicaid beneficiaries and their health care providers monitor and manage their health care. Medicaid’s Scope The federal-state Medicaid program is by far the largest health insurance plan, covering 62 million Americans, and it is the first or second biggest budget item in most states. Actually, Medicaid is three different programs. It provides health insurance for low-income children, pregnant women and some adults, covering about 40 percent of all births, and more than 50 percent in some states; It is the primary source of coverage for the disabled; and It covers certain costs for poor seniors, including nursing… View Article

Friday Facts: September 18, 2015

It’s Friday! Events October 15: The countdown has begun to the Sixth Annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly on Thursday, October 15. In less than a month, “Opportunity” knocks at this daylong event, whose theme is, “Wisdom, Justice and Opportunity.” Details here. Registration is $125 per person and includes breakfast and lunch. Register here. Sponsorships are available; contact Benita Dodd. December 8: Mark your calendar! The Foundation hosts, “The Case for K-12 Student-Based Budgeting in Georgia,” a panel discussion at The Cobb Galleria. Details to follow. Quotes of Note “At one time you had a lot of people who hadn’t had any economics saying foolish things. Now you have well-known… View Article

Checking Up On Health: August 25, 2015

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD The amount of conflicting nutrition data out there is enough to give anyone heartburn. Last week I had my annual routine physical exam and was talking to the doctor about my exercise and diet routine. For those of you who haven’t figured it out yet: Everybody lies, and every physician knows you’re lying … about how much exercise you’re getting, how much wine you’re drinking and how healthy you’re eating. Three drinks a week? A social smoker? Exercising four days a week? Low-fat, low-salt diet? Laying off the sugar? Lies, lies, lies. Physicians each have a multiplication factor they build into every one of your responses, I’m guessing.… View Article

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