Category: Health Care

The Great EPA Ozone-Asthma Caper

By Harold Brown The first ozone alert of 2015 was issued Wednesday (June 17) amid 90-degree temperatures in metro Atlanta, a “Code Orange” warning children and “sensitive” individuals to “limit prolonged outdoor exertion.” A new proposal by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would once again lower the ozone level allowable under the Clean Air Act. Unfortunately, the EPA is ignoring the failure of an experiment it has conducted for 40 years: Whils it has ordered reductions in the amount of ozone allowable in the air in order to reduce asthma, asthma has increased. From 1979 to 1997, the maximum allowable level for ozone was set at 120 parts per billion (ppb), averaged over one hour. During this period, maximum… View Article

Free the Nurses

In March, Nebraska became the 20th state to allow nurses with the most advanced degrees to practice without a doctor’s oversight in a variety of medical fields. Writing in Forbes, John Goodman argues that more states should move in this direction. “These regulations have the greatest impact on the poor, especially the rural poor. The farther a nurse is located from a doctor’s office, the less likely the physician will be willing to make the drive to supervise the nurse. This means that people living in poverty-stricken Texas counties must drive long distances, miss work and take their kids out of school in order to get simple prescriptions and uncomplicated diagnoses. This problem might be alleviated if nurse practitioners were… View Article

Health Reform 2.0

By Ronald E. Bachman Whatever you think about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more changes are on the way. What will the next wave of health reform look like and when will it happen? With the pending Supreme Court decision on the ACA subsidies, Health Reform 2.0 may happen sooner rather than later. Whether the changes are modifications, replacements, repeal or expansion, certain basic principles should be at the core of Health Reform 2.0. Objectives: 1. Personalized Healthcare – Government mandated one-size-fits-all plan designs should be eliminated in favor of more options that are affordable and meet individual and family needs. Individuals should be rewarded for healthy choices and engagement in healthy lifestyles and treatment compliance. 2. Consumer-Centered –… View Article

Health Care Proposal Improves With Age

By John R. Graham You’ve got to give credit to Congressman Tom Price, MD: He introduced his first post-ObamaCare bill as early as 2009 and has reintroduced an updated version in every Congress since then. The latest Empowering Patients First Act (H.R. 2300), introduced this month, is the fourth iteration. Many critics complain Republicans in Congress have taken too long to develop an alternative to Obamacare. However, President Obama is running the show until January 2017. It is responsible for Congressional Republicans to take all the time and space they need to develop their alternative for the next president’s consideration. A fully baked repeal and replacement bill today would serve no purpose, while doing nothing until a president committed to… View Article

Checking Up On Health: June 2, 2015

Health Care Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd Any day now, the U.S. Supreme Court will announce its decision on King v. Burwell, in which the IRS decision to provide subsidies to enrollees in federally operated health care exchanges is being challenged. Georgia is among the 34 states that have a federally operated exchange under the Affordable Care Act. King v. Burwell is one of four lawsuits arguing that the text of the Affordable Care Act only allows for subsidies on state-run exchanges, and that the IRS regulation offering subsidies through both state and federal exchanges exceeds the authority granted by Congress. If the court rules the subsidies are illegal, the 34 states currently operating under a… View Article

Checking Up On Health: April 28, 2015

  Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd May is Asthma Awareness Month. That means the ozone non-attainment areas will be subjected once to color-coded days warning you of the danger of pollution. The non-profit organizations will start issuing air-quality rankings around the nation. The warnings about outdoor air quality will include encouragement to stay inside. But you might want to consider the unhealthy policy decisions. First, indoor air quality, with pet dander, buildings shut tight for temperature control, and dust piling into carpets and upholstery, can be much worse than what’s outside.  Further, a new study authored by a research team led by Dr. Corrine Keet of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center has found no link… View Article

Checking Up On Health: April 14, 2015

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd It’s not just the Internal Revenue Service’s extension of subsidies to enrollees of federal exchanges that go against the language in the Affordable Care Act. While that is awaiting a Supreme Court ruling in King v. Burwell, according to Jonathan Adler, the Tax man’s poetic license with tax credit eligibility appears to be the rule rather than the exception. Writing in the Volokh Conspiracy in the Washington Post, Adler cites research out of Yale that found, “Combined with other instances of the IRS and HHS disregarding the PPACA’s plain text, it appears the federal government has little regard for what the PPACA actually says.” Specifically, “IRS regulations disregard the… View Article

Checking Up On Health: March 31, 2015

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd Buyer beware: A news article came across my desk this week alerting readers to a change by the nation’s largest health insurance company, Minnesota-based UnitedHealthcare. In what could become expensive for patients, the insurer is changing the way it handles balance billing, which is the difference between the provider’s charge and what the insurer allows. The cost-cutting measure means UnitedHealthcare will not pay the bills of some emergency room physicians and other specialists, even though they work for hospitals in the UnitedHealthcare network. I learned the importance of checking the network status of all physicians involved a couple of years ago when I underwent a routine, scheduled procedure. I… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release March 31, 2015 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org Mercatus Study Finds Dire Consequences to Georgia CON Program Atlanta – Since 1979, Georgia has been one of 36 states and the District of Columbia to restrict the supply of health care through certificate-of-need (CON) programs that limit entry or expansion of health facilities, traditionally justified with the claim that they reduce and control health care costs. A study released today by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, however, finds serious consequences for continuing to enforce CON regulations, which restrict competition and choice. It reports that Georgia’s CON program is the 18th most restrictive in the nation, with 17 devices… View Article

Checking Up On Health: March 17, 2015

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd I made the dreaded annual appointment with the dentist yesterday, and the scheduler asked me if I had a preference for a particular hygienist. “I can’t remember the name of the lady who did it last. Could you check for me?” “Please hold while I check. … It was ‘Suzie.'” “Thank you for checking. Anybody but her.” ObamaCare Confused? Make it work for you! Just in case you thought deadlines and suggested guidelines are, you know, different, you get a do-over! A special enrollment period for coverage under the Affordable Care Act will take place from March 15 to  April 30 for people who owe the ObamaCare tax/fee/penalty for 2014,… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has hit another homerun with its Guide to the Issues. This is must reading for anyone interested in public policy in Georgia, and it is an outstanding road map for conservative, common sense solutions to our challengers of today and tomorrow.

Former Georgia Senate Minority Leader Chuck Clay more quotes