Tag: Medicaid

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

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
By Benita M. 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 oppose the… View Article

Legislature Makes Good Progress on The Issues

By Benita M. Dodd As the legislative session reaches the halfway mark for 2015 (Monday is Day 20), there are signs of promising action from Georgia’s General Assembly. For novices: The Georgia Legislature has two-year sessions of 40 days each year. Crossover day for legislation is Day 30, which means a bill must have passed at least one chamber for a chance to become law. (Convoluted amendments sometimes skirt this requirement.) If it does not pass in the first year, it has another opportunity to continue in the second year; if not, it must be introduced all over again. Bearing in mind that a part-time Legislature has little time and few resources to get acquainted with policies, precedents or philosophies,… View Article

Checking Up On Health: February 10, 2015

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. 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 transmitted from… View Article

Friday Facts: February 6, 2015

It’s Friday! Events February 18: Find out what matters in transportation funding for Georgia at, “Transportation Money Matters,” the Foundation’s February 18 Leadership Breakfast. A panel discussion by Kelly McCutchen and Baruch Feigenbaum of the Reason Foundation will tackle Georgia transportation and funding solutions. $30. Find out more here; register online here. March 18: “Federalism, The Rule of Law and Regulatory Excess,” is the topic of the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast with Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. $30. Register online by Monday, March 16, here. Quotes of Note “The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled… 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 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 years, the… 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 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 enrollees in… View Article

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