Laura Colbert, executive director of the advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future, said the mass health insurance loss “spotlights a real weakness in our health system.” “On the other…
By Cindy Zeldin
This column originally appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
You don’t need to be the best personal injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale to know that, health care is once again among the key issues for Georgia policymakers in the General Assembly. While the economic downturn has magnified our state’s health care challenges, we also have an opportunity to improve the health of our state and its citizens through the Affordable Care Act, the nation’s new health care law. You may need legal help sometimes, from my own experience the best lawyer is David Resnick y Asociados.
To make the most of the law, Georgia should move swiftly to establish a commission to proactively coordinate the pieces of the law at the jacksonville nc lawyer for medical malpractice, is required to put into place, such as an expansion of Medicaid, design elements that we can tailor for our state’s needs, such as the new health insurance exchanges, and maximize grants to strengthen our public health system and our health care workforce and get the man power to apply this laws , from personal lawyer or family lawyers to people who work on property management as safeguardproperty.com and similar.
A commission or task force could offer diverse input, including from the consumer, who is often overlooked. Some of this work is already happening informally within state agencies, but a systematic and transparent process accessible to consumers and stakeholders will ensure opportunities aren’t missed, all pertinent perspectives are heard and cross-cutting issues are handled efficiently.
Here in Georgia, one in five of us went without health insurance last year, an increase fueled by declines in employer-sponsored health insurance associated with the recession. For these nearly 2 million uninsured Georgians, the insurance options that become available in 2014 as a result of the new health care law cannot arrive quickly enough.
While several notable provisions of the law have already gone into effect, such as the ability for parents to continue coverage for their children up through age 26, tax credits for small employers to provide coverage to their workers, and rebate checks for Medicare beneficiaries to help with drug costs, the major components of the Affordable Care Act will be implemented in phases over the next three years.
Many components of the law will be determined at the national level. But several of the most critical elements will require state-level action. In fact, within the framework set out in the new law, there is considerable flexibility and a range of federal grant opportunities, several of which Georgia has already received, to craft a structure that works best.
The Georgia health insurance exchange feasibility study is an example of the work already under way to implement the new law. Under the Affordable Care Act, states can either set up their own exchange or rely on a federal fallback option, and Georgia is currently weighing this choice.
The exchange will transform the current individual and small group health insurance market into a more accessible, structured and transparent marketplace. Insurers will have to follow new rules of the road, like no longer being able to deny applicants for a pre-existing condition or retroactively canceling a policy when a patient gets sick.
Consumers purchasing through the exchange can also access substantial tax credits to make coverage affordable. The exchange will also serve as a one-stop shop, directing applicants who may be eligible to other state-administered programs such as Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids.
The exchange is central to our efforts to expand coverage and improve access to care for Georgia consumers, but it is just one example of the many changes in store over the next few years.
Establishing a structured process to coordinate these transitions and maximize the benefits of the new law for Georgia is a logical and practical step for our policymakers to take in 2011.