Peach Pulse Archive 2019
Happening now: Cover Georgia Day at the Capitol
Cover Georgia Day at the Capitol is happening now! Health advocates are at the state Capitol today speaking with legislators about the need to build a pathway to health insurance coverage for all Georgians. We need you to raise your voice with them!
Advocates will be speaking to their state representatives about SB 106, the Patients First Act, which passed the Senate earlier this week. This legislation, as written, falls short of the promise to put a health insurance card in the pockets of all Georgians because it leaves out thousands who would be covered under a full Medicaid expansion (or a similar 1115 waiver) and will likely cost the state more to cover fewer people. Additionally, the bill allows the Governor to make potentially seismic changes to private health insurance in Georgia through 1332 waivers with little accountability. The good news is that it’s not too late for House members to make a few changes that would allow this legislation to benefit more Georgians at a lower cost to the state.
Your state representatives need to hear from you today! Call or send an email to your elected officials today and encourage them to get the best deal that will ensure all Georgians have coverage!
On Tuesday, the Senate passed SB 106, the Patients First Act. The bill allows Georgia’s Governor to pursue two kinds of health care waivers that could make significant changes to health coverage for Georgia consumers: an 1115 Medicaid waiver and 1332 State Innovation waivers. GHF’s partner, Georgia Watch, together with other Cover Georgia coalition partners, has released a fact sheet to help you understand 1115 waivers and how they relate to Georgia’s current debate about Medicaid expansion. Additionally, GHF released a sister fact sheet to help you understand 1332 waivers and how they may impact private health insurance plans in Georgia. Download both today!
GHF’s annual Consumer Health Advocate’s Guide is your map for navigating the Georgia legislative session. This annual booklet provides information about Georgia’s legislative process, legislators, and committees, key agency officials, advocate contacts, and more. Experienced advocates and new volunteers will find their way around Georgia’s Capitol more easily with the information provided in this year’s guide.
(Interested in a hard copy? Contact Michelle Conde.)
Medicaid helps seniors too
Charlie Ellison is 87 years old and a long time resident of Dalton, Georgia. Charlie is one of over half a million seniors and people with disabilities in Georgia who depend on Medicaid and Medicare to live with dignity in their communities. Charlie’s Medicaid coverage allows him to visit RossWoods Adult Day Services each day and reduces the costs of his medications so that he remains as healthy and independent as possible. For 168,000 seniors like Charlie who typically rely on low, fixed incomes, Medicaid makes the difference. Read more of Charlie’s story and see how sharing your story can make an impact!
GHF in the news
Momentum builds to seek waiver to cover more Georgians under Medicaid
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | February 5, 2019
What is Certificate of Need? Explaining a Likely Health Care Fight at the Gold Dome
WABE | February 5, 2019
Kemp to seek Medicaid, Obamacare waivers for Georgia
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | February 8, 2019
What’s in the funding deal for health care
Politico Pulse | February 14, 2019
Lawmakers, Advocates Skeptical of Kemp’s Medicaid Waiver Plan
WABE | February 15, 2019
Senate panel backs waiver bill to insure more Georgians
Gwinnett Daily Post | February 20, 2019
Georgia Senate committee approves Medicaid waiver proposal
Athens Banner-Herald | February 20, 2019
Health care waiver bill passes out of committee. Here’s what it could mean for your family
The Georgia Sun | February 20, 2019
Georgia Senate committee approves Gov. Kemp’s Medicaid waiver proposal
FOX 5 Atlanta | February 20, 2019
Under the Gold Dome, lobbyists are sparring over your health care costs
The Georgia Sun | February 22, 2019
Stalemate or solution? Legislative fight over surprise billing renewed
Georgia Health News | February 22, 2019
Georgia legislative fight over surprise billing renewed
Athens Banner-Herald | February 25, 2019
Surprise hospital bills under review
Statesboro Herald | February 25, 2019
GHF kicks off 2019 legislative session with Health Care Unscrambled breakfast
Thanks to you, this year’s Health Care Unscrambled breakfast was a big success! We were thrilled to have a room packed with advocates, policy makers, and others who joined us for this year’s event. This year’s program began with a personal story from consumer Lori Murdock, who shared her experience struggling to manage a chronic disease without health insurance because she was caught in Georgia’s coverage gap. Our knowledgeable legislative panel then provided valuable insights into the health policy issues they plan to tackle during the 2019 legislative session and in the following months. Afterwards, Dr. David Blumenthal, President of the Commonwealth Fund, brought a wealth of knowledge and insight to our conversation about how innovations in health care and coverage can help us achieve better health outcomes for all Georgians.
Don’t forget! GHF has you covered for the 2019 legislative session. You will receive weekly updates about the health debates at the State capitol, can track health-related legislation on our website, and more.
Save the date
Please join us at the state capitol on Thursday, February 28th from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm for Cover Georgia Day! We will be asking state legislators to put insurance cards in the pockets of low-income Georgians who cannot get affordable health care coverage under current law. This is your opportunity to speak to your elected officials and let them know that you support closing Georgia’s coverage gap.
Be on the lookout for further details. An RSVP link will be available soon.
In case you missed it
Georgians for a Healthy Future released its 2019 policy priorities at this year’s annual Health Care Unscrambled legislative breakfast. These annual priorities outline the issues that GHF believes are most pressing for Georgia consumers and are best addressed by the state legislature. GHF will work to move all of these issues forward by engaging state policy makers, consumers, and coalition partners throughout the legislative session and the remainder of the year.
- Increase the number of Georgians with health insurance.
- Stabilize Georgia’s health insurance Marketplace
- Ensure access to care and financial protections for consumers purchasing private health insurance.
- Set and enforce standards that provide for equitable coverage of mental health and substance use treatment services by health plans.
- Prevent nicotine use and addiction by young Georgians
- Support partners in integrating health and equity in the policies across every sector to address social determinants of health that prevent equitable access to care and equitable health status.
Georgia’s state leadership has made serious efforts to improve Georgia’s system of care through the infusion of additional dollars for children’s mental health services in the state budget and through innovative programs like Project Advancing Wellness and Resilience Education (AWARE). Georgia Project AWARE is a youth mental health initiative focused on improving the experiences of school-aged youth in Georgia. You can begin to learn about Georgia’s Project Aware on our blog and be on the lookout for Getting to know Project AWARE: Part II, where we’ll learn more about Youth Mental Health First Aid and how it helps educators meet the social and emotional needs of their students.
GHF in the news
Health care could have ‘big year’ in Georgia’s legislature
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | January 11, 2019
Health care agenda: Will longtime disputes be resolved in the legislature?
Gwinnett Daily Post | January 11, 2019
Health issues face state Legislators CON law, surprise billing, medical marijuana will draw lawmakers’ attention
Albany Herald | January 12, 2019
NAIC Names 2019 Consumer Liaison Representatives
National Association of Insurance Commissioners | January 15, 2019
Georgians for a Healthy Future encourages stakeholders to become Medicaid advocates
Making a Difference magazine | January 17, 2019
‘Waiver’ on the way? Kemp signals a plan to increase coverage
Georgia Health News | January 17, 2019
Democrat Trammell says fiscal analysis proves case for Medicaid expansion
Gwinnett Daily Post | January 23, 2019