Category: Health Care

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
By Kelly McCutchen Rising health care costs are squeezing middle-class families, as this chart published by the Wall Street Journal based on Brookings Institution analysis clearly shows. These families could care less about AHCA vs ACA, they just want some relief. The good news is that a new analysis shows that implementing the reforms in the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives today will lower premiums across the board. The analysis by the Milliman actuarial firm analyzed the impact of changing the 3:1 age rating limit in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to the 5:1 ratio in the AHCA bill and implementing an Invisible Risk-Sharing Program (also known as an Invisible High-Risk… View Article

Return Insurance Regulation to the States

By Ralph T. Hudgens Much of the impasse in Washington regarding health care reform relates to health insurance regulation and mandates. There is a very simple solution: Return the power to regulate insurance back to the states, where it rightly belongs. Certainly, Congress should be able to find common ground in the desire to lower costs, improve quality and empower states. Much of the talk in recent months has been about how difficult it will be to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The focus of the conversation should instead be on the consequences to the American people if Congress does not repeal this failed overhaul of the health insurance industry. When the ACA was first implemented, as the Commissioner… View Article
By Kelly McCutchen Be careful when you set a new precedent, because your decision could come back to haunt you. Senate Democrats executed the first partisan filibuster of a U.S. Supreme Court nominee in our nation’s history this week. In response, Senate Republicans are expected to vote to change Senate rules to allow confirmation by a simple majority vote – the “nuclear option” – instead of the current 60-vote majority rule. Republicans cite precedent to justify their actions. Democrats changed Senate rules in 2013, ditching the 60-vote rule to allow a simple majority vote on Cabinet nominees and lower-court judges. The Wall Street Journal cites a floor speech by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Nov. 13, 2013, where she called… View Article
In 2016, Senate legislation seeking to clarify that Direct Primary Care is not insurance did not make it out of the Georgia Senate. In 2017, the Senate unanimously approved similar DPC legislation and the House Insurance Committee reported favorably on the bill on March 20, but the House Rules Committee did not place the legislation on the calendar by March 30 for a House vote before Sine Die. By Loren King In primary care medicine, offices visits require understanding and knowledge of multiple complicated and interrelated medical, social and economic concerns to adequately parse decision making. Health care is complicated and personal and, at its very foundation, it is conversation, friendship and hope. Unfortunately, the economics of an office visit… View Article
This testimony on Direct Primary Care was prepared for delivery to the Georgia House Insurance Committee on March 20, 2017. The legislation, S.B. 50, was presented by Senator Hunter Hill (Watch from the 53-minute mark at https://livestream.com/accounts/19771805/events/6811883/videos/152225554) By Benita M. Dodd, Vice President, Georgia Public Policy Foundation  The Georgia Public Policy Foundation understands the challenges lawmakers face in extending access to health care for the impoverished as well as those living in Georgia’s rural areas. We believe one way to address this is through an exciting, well tested approach: Direct Primary Care, which provides access, quality and control and an affordable monthly rate. The Foundation has highlighted physicians practicing this approach in 2014, both at a May Leadership Breakfast… View Article

How States Can Break the Health Care Logjam

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 medical clinic in Adel while shifting emergency services to its hospital in Tifton, 24 miles away. Plans are in the… View Article
NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release February 10, 2017 Contact: Benita Dodd, Georgia Public Policy Foundation benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org | (404) 256-4050  Foundation Welcomes Tom Price as HHS Secretary Atlanta – Kelly McCutchen, president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, had the following response to today’s Senate confirmation and swearing in of Tom Price as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. “As a Georgia legislator, as a U.S. Congressman and as a physician, Dr. Price has championed a patient-first approach that holds enormous promise for beleaguered Americans struggling to afford and access health coverage,” McCutchen said. “The Foundation has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Dr. Price and we look forward to continuing to work toward state-focused health care options that are affordable… View Article
Who:   Small groups and employees working for groups with fewer than 50 full-time or full-time equivalent employees (part-time and seasonal employees can be excluded). When:  The 21st Century Cures Act passed Congress on December 7, 2016 and signed into law on December 13, 2016 with an effective date of January 1, 2017 (plan years beginning after December 31, 2016). What:  The Cures Act focuses mainly on speeding up drug approvals through the Food and Drug Administration, but as an important additional feature of the law created a new type of Health Reimbursement Arrangement called a “Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement” (QSEHRA). Executive Summary:   The Cures Act overturns a previous ruling by the IRS and DOL that precluded employers… View Article
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

Thank you for what you are doing to lead the nation. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is leading the way. This is truly one of the leading lights in the state think tank movement. Excellent ideas. It’s well run. For those of you who are donors I congratulate you on your wisdom and I encourage you to do it and do it more.

Arthur Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute (2015) more quotes