Tag: Medicaid

By Kelly McCutchen As the August recess fast approaches, procedural rules require health care to be addressed before Congress can move on to other important issues like taxes and infrastructure. Below are five ideas that would move health care reform in the right direction and hopefully create the momentum needed to get to a resolution. Fund uncompensated care. Federal law requires hospital emergency departments to treat anyone regardless of their ability to pay, but federal funding covers only a small portion of the cost. In Georgia, for example, uncompensated care for people too poor to pay their bills amounts to over $1 billion a year. If hospitals can’t shift the cost to state and local taxpayers or private insurance,… View Article

Legislature 2017 Misses Many Opportunities

By Kelly McCutchen KELLY McCUTCHEN Last year, we wrote that the General Assembly is often, and appropriately, chided for passing last-minute bills with little debate or study. Once again this year, major legislation was crammed into the waning hours of the last day of the session. It was as ugly as the North Carolina-Gonzaga championship game. Several bills were hurriedly voted on after midnight; many legislators seemed more focused on tearing up papers for confetti in anticipation of Sine Die instead of studying the bills. Sadly, a major reform of adoption law, an income tax rate cut for Georgians and a minor expansion of school choice fell victim to the clock. Legislators wisely passed the 2018 budget before March 30,… View Article

How States Can Break the Health Care Logjam

EMTALA, a massive federal unfunded mandate, has made the nation’s emergency rooms the default health care provider for the uninsured. By Kelly McCutchen In the pre-dawn hours of Sunday, January 22 a tornado, one of 40 over two days in Georgia, ripped through the tiny South Georgia town of Adel. Seven people died; the wounded were treated at the local hospital five minutes away. Just three days earlier, that local hospital had announced it would close its emergency room – the only ER in Cook County – at the end of February. Cook Medical Center is hemorrhaging about $2.6 million a year, mostly due to the emergency room. Tift Regional Medical Center plans to offer expanded hours at a non-emergency… View Article

Friday Facts: September 30, 2016

It’s Friday!  November 11: John Stossel of “Stossel” on Fox Business Network is the keynote speaker at the Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Celebration Dinner and Freedom Award on Veterans Day. The Freedom Award recipient is Dr. Michael H. Mescon, “The Pied Piper of Private Enterprise” (Wall Street Journal). Cobb Galleria Performing Arts Centre Ballroom. $125 per person Early Bird Rate through September 25. Click here for information; reserve your seat here. (Checks accepted, too!)  Quotes of Note “One of the few bright spots for black children in American ghettos have been some charter schools that have educated these children to levels equal to, and in some cases better than, those in affluent suburbs. You might think that this would be… 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

Guide to the Issues: Medicaid

Principles: Government should be willing to spend what it is already spending, but in a more rational manner. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually in Georgia on uncompensated care for the uninsured. The uninsured may not have coverage but they do get sick; one way or another, we all pay for their care in a way that is terribly inefficient. Money should follow people. It is important to support the institutions and providers that make up Georgia’s safety net, but solutions should be people-centered, not institution-centered. Innovation requires flexibility and choices. Micromanaging every last detail is a recipe for the status quo. Facts: The accompanying table shows the most recent data on the average enrollment and cost per… View Article
By Benita Dodd BENITA DODD The media hype surrounding the political parties’ national conventions spotlights the enormous discord created by personalities and politics as the presidential election approaches. Getting short shrift amid slogans and the scramble for dollars and votes are the policy proposals that will affect the lives of Americans — and Georgians — long after November 8. Many citizens dismiss the states’ impact on issues at the national level — federal taxes, immigration, the military and education policy, for example. Too many believe the answers depend on who is elected president and to Congress. It’s not always so. It behooves Georgians to pay close attention to innovative ideas closer to home. States are often incubators, testing life-enhancing policies… View Article

Friday Facts: July 22, 2016

It’s Friday!  Ross Coker Then and Now: In 1991, when the Georgia Public Policy Foundation was established, we polled Georgia voters on the state’s budget and economy. “Among the changes they strongly support are: privatization, spending cuts and limits, term limitations, creation of strict ethics laws and creation of direct citizen initiative and referendum.” Twenty-five years later, we continue to work diligently on the fiscal issues important to Georgians. Follow us! The Foundation is almost at 3,000 Facebook “likes!” Our Twitter account has 1,644 followers at twitter.com/gppf. Follow us on Instagram, too! Guide to the Issues 2016: What policies should Georgia adopt on education? Find out the Foundation’s proposals for Georgia’s children. Learn… 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

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