NEWS & MEDIA
Georgians for a Healthy Future is frequently cited in news articles about health care issues, ensuring the consumer perspective is heard. Read news stories featuring Georgians for a Healthy Future’s perspective below.
“We were really hoping Congress would reauthorize the funding for the program before funding ran out at the end of September,” said Laura Colbert, Executive Director of Georgians for a Healthy Future.
Colbert says in several states, families are already receiving letters notifying them their children will lose coverage.
“When children lose coverage, we know they don’t get the preventative healthcare they need, we know it takes a while to get them re-enrolled, and children’s health really impacts them in the long term,” Colbert said.
Laura Colbert of the consumer group Georgians for a Healthy Future, which supports the ACA, said Wednesday that the repeal of the individual mandate “exacerbates the problems that consumers are already facing in the insurance market, namely rising premiums and a limited choice of insurers. Instead of enacting policy that will result in fewer people with insurance coverage and higher costs for those that remain insured, our elected officials should be focused on how to cover more people more affordably.”
“We are starting to be very concerned,” said Laura Colbert, the executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future. “We really thought CHIP was going to be reauthorized — first before the funding expired; then we thought it would take two or three weeks before it got refunded. And now here we are two weeks before the end of December and families are starting to get notices that they’re going to get cut off and states are running out of money.”
“We know that health of children really impacts their health as they grow older so any lapse in coverage could have long-term impacts,” said Laura Colbert, executive director at the nonprofit health advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future. “In other states, we’ve seen that if they’ve had to dis-enroll children even temporarily from CHIP program, it’s really hard to get those families re-enrolled and those kids re-covered. So any discontinuation of the program even if it two months or six months later, it can be very significant for the health of children in Georgia.”
Laura Colbert, the executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future, said her organization is “very concerned” that Medicaid reductions could be in the offing after the tax bill gets approved.
“Earlier this year we saw proposals to block-grant Medicaid or restructure its funding to provide less money to serve the same number of people,” Colbert said. “We are really concerned with the tax bill … that those proposals will be revived and that we will again have to look at what restructuring would look like here.
“When we are talking about cutting Medicaid at the state level, you are really talking about cutting health care to children, seniors and people with disabilities.”
Laura Colbert of consumer group Georgians for a Healthy Future said that given the confusion about the future of the ACA and low consumer awareness of the enrollment period, “it is a little surprising to see such robust participation in the first week of the ACA’s open enrollment period. This strong start demonstrates that consumers still value affordable, quality health insurance and are motivated to enroll.”
“The most damaging has been the rhetoric and confusion,” said Laura Colbert, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future, an advocacy group. “Overall, this could be a bellwether for future years.”
“This trend is concerning for Georgia consumers no matter how they get their health insurance and confirms the anecdotal reports we have received from consumers across the state,’’ said Laura Colbert, executive director of consumer group Georgians for a Healthy Future, when asked about the Commonwealth Fund’s findings.
“We have increasingly heard from Georgians that they are shouldering a larger and larger share of the costs of their coverage, and that this shift is impacting their wallets and their health care.”
Insurers and employers are shifting costs to consumers as a way to manage their own growing health care costs, and consumers are feeling the squeeze, Colbert said. “Consumers will not feel much relief until the high costs of health care are addressed in a real way that moves our health care system to one that rewards value.”
About 42,000 of the nearly half million people enrolled under the Affordable Care Act in Georgia will likely be affected, according to Georgians for a Healthy Future, a patient advocacy group.
These are consumers who have purchased health care plans on the state’s federally run marketplace but who don’t qualify for aid.
“They’re going to be the people who really feel the brunt of this decision,” said Laura Colbert, the group’s executive director.
But Georgians for a Healthy Future says this decision is going to really affect the middle class.
“This decision isn’t really helpful for anyone, really it’s going to drive premium ups. It’s going to cost the federal government more, insurers may leave the marketplace and consumers are going to be left without choices.”