Tag: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD Not many Americans are aware that March 4 heralds a turning point in the Affordable Care Act. It’s when the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments over whether ObamaCare goes forward under the rule of law or under arbitrary interpretation by overreaching politicians and bureaucrats. King v. Burwell is one of four lawsuits, along with Halbig v. Burwell, Pruitt v. Burwell and Indiana v. IRS, to argue that the law specifies subsidies (tax credits) only for enrollees of state-run exchanges. And if that is the case, then extending subsidies through federal exchanges is illegal because it exceeds the authority that Congress gave the Internal Revenue Service. It’s important to note that the parties that… View Article

Checking Up On Health: February 24, 2015

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD Dealing with insurance companies in the ObamaCare era has become convoluted and messy, as many have discovered. Time was the physician’s was the last word. No longer, I’ve discovered. After a year of a painful shoulder and elbow, I finally bit the bullet last week and decided I needed to graduate from Aleve to some orthopedic help. The orthopedist diagnosed tennis elbow and bursitis, recommended some exercises and prescribed a topical NSAID for the elbow problem. Imagine my surprise when I picked up the medication at Costco and was informed the insurance company was refusing to pay for it. When I called, I was told the claim was… View Article

Checking Up On Health: February 10, 2015

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD Georgians learned this week that the state has its first confirmed case of measles since 2012. An infected infant who arrived in Atlanta from outside the United States is being treated at Egleston at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Georgia Department of Public Health said Monday. That brings to 17 the number of states reporting cases this year– after the disease had all but been eradicated in the United States. In fact, this is just the sixth case in 10 years in Georgia Measles can be especially dangerous to children under age 5. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measles is highly contagious. It’s primarily… View Article
By Kelly McCutchen Georgia, like many states, faces a host of health care challenges: access to care, too many people without health insurance, failing rural hospitals and unsustainable health care spending that is crowding out other priorities – for government and for families. The debate over how to address these challenges has Georgia seemingly stuck between two options: Expand a government program (Medicaid) with its own long list of challenges . . . or do nothing. It is a false choice; Georgia has an opportunity to put forth a better solution. It won’t be easy. You start with the high hurdle of political acceptance by conservatives in Georgia and liberals in Washington. But it’s worth the effort. What if Georgia… View Article

Checking Up On Health: February 3, 2015

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD What if Georgia could reach bipartisan agreement on a plan to present to Washington that could help achieve coverage for Georgia’s uninsured? Kelly McCutchen, president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, wrote a commentary this week for Georgia Health News: “A Smarter Way to Make Health Care More Available in Georgia.” You can read it here: You start with the high hurdle of political acceptance by conservatives in Georgia and liberals in Washington. But it’s worth the effort. What if Georgia became the leader in creating innovative ways to provide better health for more people at lower cost? A pox on laggards: For at least four… View Article

Expand Health Care, Not Government

By Nina Owcharenko It’s official: Indiana has given in and adopted ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion. Before jumping into the weeds of Indiana’s Medicaid expansion agreement with the Obama administration, it is important to realize the agreement still fails some basic principles of reform. First, it adds more people on to the Medicaid rolls, not fewer. The Indiana plan puts 350,000 more Hoosiers on to the overstretched welfare program. Reform should be grounded in reducing Medicaid dependence, not increasing it. Second, it requires more government spending, not less. The Indiana plan will increase Medicaid spending by having the federal taxpayers pick up 90 percent of the costs. Again, reforms should aim to reduce government spending, not increase or merely shift it. Third,… View Article

Checking Up On Health: January 27, 2015

Health Policy News and Views By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD As the U.S. Supreme Court mulls a ruling in Halbig v. Burwell – over the IRS subsidies and tax credits for ObamaCare enrollees in the federally run health care exchanges – the Georgia Public Policy Foundation has scheduled a Leadership Breakfast event on March 18, featuring Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. The topic for the event, which includes a look at ObamaCare, is “Federalism, The Rule of Law and Regulatory Excess.” Foundation events are open to the public and you can register here by March 16. I was doing my own mulling on the Halbig v. Burwell case last week. Challengers argue that the IRS rule subsidizing… View Article

Checking Up On Health: January 13, 2015

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD A week ago, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation shared the results of a study by our Senior Fellow, Ron Bachman, highlighting Georgia as a leader in telehealth. You can access the study here http://www.georgiapolicy.org/ftp_files/telehealth.pdf. The news release I sent out for the Foundation resulted in a snarky response from one (perennially snarky) reporter: “Telehealth settles for offering the rural poor a very inferior level of care. Thanks a lot.” I wonder how the rural poor who currently have limited access to health care feel about having access to health care through apps on their phones, to specialists in the metro area through video or online consultations via… View Article

Checking Up On Health: January 6, 2015

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita Dodd BENITA DODD Happy New Year and welcome back to Checking Up On Health, where I’m back to sharing news and views on health care and policy! It’s old news now that bitterly cold weather is approaching Georgia this week. I have fond memories of being one of the thousands trapped in icy weather for 12 hours in January 2014. People spent nights and days stuck on the interstate, in stores and hotels and schools. I traveled slowly home to Cobb County from the State Capitol, well aware that if I stopped, I’d be stuck for days. I’m not going to tell you to wear a hat or dress in layers or… View Article

Checking Up On Health: December 9, 2014

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD Remember when you were growing up and refused to finish your dinner? Your mother would say, “Eat your dinner. Think of the starving children in Ethiopia.” It was always a distance – never around the corner, like Appalachia. (In South Africa, my mother would say, “Think of the starving children in India.” Of course, my response was, “Well then, send the food to them.”) Now I’m coming full circle and beginning to sound like my mother: Vaccinate your child! Think of the sacrifices researchers made to bring lifesaving vaccines to you: polio, chickenpox, measles, pertussis … And think of the ailing people who can’t be vaccinated. You may… View Article

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