The effort was a collaboration between Physicians for a National Health Program, a group of doctors that advocates for Medicare for All, elected officials, community members, patients and advocacy groups…
This week, Cindy and Anna are representing Georgians for a Healthy Future at Families USA’s Health Action 2015 conference! We’re getting inspiration from national leaders, learning about best practices from experts and advocates doing great work around the country, and sharing our own experiences advocating for Georgia health care consumers. GHF’s Executive Director Cindy Zeldin spoke on a workshop panel about how to advocate for consumers enrolled in private health insurance. Check out Facebook and Twitter through Saturday for conference updates!
It’s budget week! Governor Deal released his budget on Friday, and legislators have been holding budget hearings all week. Here are two aspects of the health care budget that have our attention:
- The proposed budget eliminates State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) coverage for non-certificated school employees (bus drivers, custodians, etc) who work less than 30 hours a week. State officials estimate it will affect more than 11,000 state employees. We’re still sifting through the details, but we’re very concerned that some of those employees may fall into the coverage gap if they lose coverage through the SHBP.
- There is no money in the state budget to sustain the primary care reimbursement rate increase that was temporarily funded with federal dollars. This temporary bump made it easier for patients in Georgia and other states to get medical appointments and access care.
Thank you to those of you who joined us for our fifth annual Health Care Unscrambled policy breakfast on January 15! This year’s event featured two powerhouse panels: a bipartisan legislative discussion and a panel that focused on the recent experiences of Kentucky and Arkansas, two Southern states that are moving forward with innovative plans to cover their uninsured and improve population health, and featured the insights of a national expert.
This year’s Health Care Unscrambled also provided an opportunity for Georgia health care advocates, policymakers, stakeholders, and consumers to come together just as the 2015 Legislative Session got underway to focus our attention on the most pressing health policy issues facing our state, including a robust discussion about the coverage gap. Senator Dean Burke said that while last year he would have said there was a 0 out of 10 chance for Georgia to close the gap, this year he moved it to a 5 out of 10. We’re excited about these improved chances and will continue to advocate for movement this legislative session! There is questions does health care cover home care expenses but right now we have no answer to that.