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 are very concerned about how this may impact Georgia’s Medicaid program,” said Laura Colbert, the executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future. “When we talk about cutting Medicaid at the state level, you are really talking about cutting health care to children, seniors and people with disabilities.”
Health care was a major topic in 2017 and will continue to be in 2018. We look at the final Obamacare enrollment numbers, the potential impact of the Republicans repealing the individual mandate, and get an outlook for 2018. A conversation with Laura Colbert, executive director of Georgians for A Healthy Future.
Laura Colbert, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future, an organization in Atlanta that advocates for public health insurance programs, said CHIP has traditionally had bipartisan support, which makes the lag in funding all the more concerning.
“It makes us nervous on a couple fronts,” she added.
First, it could be an indicator of Congress’ willingness to support other public health programs going forward, Colbert said.
“Given the confusion around the proposed repeal of the ACA, the shorter enrollment period and the drastic cuts to consumer outreach and assistance, I expected enrollments to be much lower,” said Laura Colbert, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future, an advocacy organization in Atlanta that encouraged ACA sign-ups. “This year’s enrollment numbers demonstrate that the ACA is fulfilling an important need for Georgia consumers who are looking for affordable, quality health coverage.”
For advocates who support the Affordable Care Act the extension to sign up for insurance coverage was a bit of a surprise, but it was also welcome news.
“It’s tough timing to get the word out, because of the holidays, but we are going to let our partners know, especially those who serve people who may qualify for marketplace coverage,” said Laura Colbert with Georgians for a Healthy Future.
“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.”