Tag: uninsured

Fixing the $1 Billion Federal Unfunded Heath Care Mandate

By Kelly McCutchen There is no question Georgia’s rural hospitals are struggling. The great majority of these hospitals are losing money every year and several have been forced to close. Their struggles were one of the primary reasons cited for Medicaid expansion. But before throwing money at the problem, it’s important to understand one of the fundamental causes: a massive unfunded mandate from the federal government. In 1986, Congress passed, and President Ronald Reagan signed, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) requiring hospital emergency departments to treat and stabilize all patients regardless of their ability to pay. Unfortunately, Congress didn’t appropriate funding to cover the cost. Imagine a law that required McDonald’s to give away food or Holiday… View Article

A Bipartisan “Yes” On A Health Care Tax Credit

By John R. Graham Ready for some good news on health reform? Both the presumptive Democratic candidate for President and the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives agree people should be able to spend more money directly on medical care without insurance companies meddling. Both sides would be shocked to have their respective health reforms described as sharing any common ground. However, identifying this common ground might be necessary if either side wants to fix the worst aspects of Obamacare. If Republican politicians in Congress want to give people any relief from the burden of Obamacare, they need to be prepared for the possibility they will have to deal with Hillary Clinton’s White House next year. Speaker… View Article

Thinking Outside the ObamaCare Box

By Kelly McCutchen Health care costs threaten to bankrupt our country. Debates over Medicaid expansion, the Medicare “doc fix,” the State of Georgia’s health plan, coverage of autism and so many other health care issues merely shift these costs from one party to another. The time has come for a “let’s go to the moon” challenge that truly addresses the underlying problems. Higher education costs are on a similar trajectory. A few years ago, governors Rick Perry of Texas and Rick Scott of Florida challenged their higher education institutions to design a four-year bachelor’s degree program for $10,000 or less. Not $10,000 a year but $10,000 for all four years. Many schools rose to the challenge, met it and now… 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
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

Georgia Has Alternatives to Medicaid Expansion

By Kelly McCutchen Expanding Medicaid under the inflexible federal regulations currently in place would not be a good long-term decision for Georgia, but that doesn’t mean states shouldn’t propose a more effective alternative. But the question should not be limited to whether to expand a specific program such as Medicaid it should be how to best provide access to quality health care to our poorest citizens in a way that is fiscally sustainable. Public hospitals are required to provide care to anyone who comes into the emergency room, regardless of their ability to pay. So even if Medicaid did not exist, taxpayers and citizens would be paying for health care for the poor and uninsured. Although the uninsured often pay… View Article

Options for Georgia Going Forward under the PPACA

In the wake of the United States Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the central components of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), states must now decide whether to shoulder major responsibilities in administering the Act’s key coverage provisions or leave it to the federal government to do so. This paper is designed to outline and evaluate those options for Georgia. The full paper can be found here: Options for Georgia Going Forward under the PPACA.… View Article

Checking Up On Health

  Benita M. Dodd, Vice President, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Health Policy Briefs: September 18 Compiled by Benita M. Dodd Why the cost? Becker’s Hospital CEO Report quizzed nine health care professionals, including physicians and former hospital executives, on how U.S. health care costs have gotten out of control in the past 10-plus years and what more needs to be done. Among the reasons they cite in the lengthy article: obesity, the expense and use of advanced U.S. technology and the costs of drugs and medical devices.  “Supply-driven demand” is cited as another reason; for example, when a facility has six MRI machines but needs just one, it may be motivated to create a “need” to use the excess capacity.… View Article

The Foundation’s Criminal Justice Initiative pushed the problems to the forefront, proposed practical solutions, brought in leaders from other states to share examples, and created this nonpartisan opportunity. (At the signing of the 2012 Criminal Justice Reform bill.)

Governor Nathan Deal more quotes