In The News

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.

2020

Kemp Signs Maternal Mortality, Surprise Billing Legislation Into Law

  • by Emma Hurt
  • WABE
“In total, the bill will cover about 2.5 million Georgians, we estimate,” said Laura Colbert, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future, who lobbied to get the bill through for years. “Those are really the folks who have individual health plans on the ACA, small group plans through their jobs, that kind of health insurance.” She credited Kemp and Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan’s support in helping get it “across the finish line.” “This will be a huge financial gain for many Georgia families,” she said, but pointed out federal reform is needed to cover large group health insurance plans.
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Georgia officials put insurance waiver plan on hold

  • by Andy Miller
  • Albany Herald

“The delay of Georgia’s proposed reinsurance program is a disappointment for Georgia consumers who are looking forward to premium relief,’’ said Laura Colbert of the consumer advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future. “However, the other changes made to the governor’s plan will reduce the harmful impacts that consumers would have felt under the original proposal.

“While we still have concerns about the transition from an unbiased, neutral enrollment platform like healthcare.gov to for-profit, decentralized insurers and web brokers, we are encouraged by the move to preserve the financial help and comprehensive health coverage provided to consumers by the Affordable Care Act.”

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State Revises Insurance Waiver Request And Pushes Timetable Back

  • by Andy Miller, Georgia Health News
  • WABE

“The delay of Georgia’s proposed reinsurance program is a disappointment for Georgia consumers who are looking forward to premium relief,’’ said Laura Colbert of the consumer advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future.

“However, the other changes made to the governor’s plan will reduce the harmful impacts that consumers would have felt under the original proposal,” she said. “While we still have concerns about the transition from an unbiased, neutral enrollment platform like healthcare.gov to for-profit, decentralized insurers and web brokers, we are encouraged by the move to preserve the financial help and comprehensive health coverage provided to consumers by the Affordable Care Act.”

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National scorecard shows Georgia improving on COVID-19 fight

  • by Andy Miller, Georgia Health News
  • Gwinnett Daily Post

Public Heath’s COVID tracking website is less user-friendly than the reopening scorecard, said Laura Colbert of the consumer group Georgians for a Healthy Future.

But the state site may be better to identify hot spots or outbreaks. In general, Colbert said, all sources of COVID data need to be better at tracking infections and deaths in nursing homes.
Disparities in testing have also raised some questions in Georgia.

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Study: More than 1.4 million Georgians lost health insurance

  • by Riley Bunch
  • Valdosta Daily Times

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 hand, the vast majority of those Georgians are now eligible for coverage through Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act marketplace,” Colbert said in a statement. “These health insurance programs are the backstops when massive uncertainty and upheaval hit our health and employment systems, keeping families safe, healthy and financially whole.”

If the state chose to further expand Medicaid, she said, Georgia’s “safety net would be a lot more complete.”

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Commenters pan Kemp’s Medicaid expansion plan as too limited

  • by Jill Nolin
  • Georgia Recorder

“The comments submitted paint a really compelling picture about the inadequacy of the Pathways to coverage plan,” Laura Colbert, executive director for Georgians for a Healthy Future, said during a call Wednesday with reporters.

“Repeatedly, commenters described how their loved ones would be left out, how Georgians would struggle to get or maintain coverage and how inequities across race, geography and health status would be maintained or exacerbated under this plan,” Colbert said.

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Pandemic Pushing Medicaid Numbers Higher As Many Lose Work

  • by Andy Miller, Georgia Health News
  • WABE

Letting the non-cancellation directive lapse would be premature, said Laura Colbert of the consumer group Georgians for a Healthy Future.

“Many Georgia consumers are still going to be out of work at the end of May, and if they are back at work, many will be catching up on rent, utilities, and credit card bills,’’ Colbert said Thursday. “Georgians will struggle to make up premium payments at the same time.”

State leaders, she said, “should prioritize actions that preserve and expand the number of Georgians with health insurance.”

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Staying Home: What Kemp’s Shelter-In-Place Order Will Mean

  • by Andy Miller, Georgia Health News
  • WABE

“This waiver is a positive step in Georgia’s response to the COVID-19 crisis,” said Laura Colbert of consumer advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future. “It will make it easier for doctors and other health care providers to see Georgians covered by Medicaid and provide needed health care services, including mental health care. These changes should ease the strain on Georgia’s health care system, especially for the providers who see low-income Georgians, those with complex health conditions or disabilities, and children.”

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What Kemp’s shelter in place order means for Georgians

  • by Georgia Health News
  • Coastal Courier

“This waiver is a positive step in Georgia’s response to the COVID-19 crisis,” said Laura Colbert of consumer advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future. “It will make it easier for doctors and other health care providers to see Georgians covered by Medicaid and provide needed health care services, including mental health care. These changes should ease the strain on Georgia’s health care system, especially for the providers who see low-income Georgians, those with complex health conditions or disabilities, and children.”

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Struggling rural health care system to get tested by COVID-19 outbreak

  • by Ross Williams
  • Georgia Recorder

The challenges Georgia’s rural communities confront with the coronavirus pandemic serve to highlight problems that have been around for a long time, said Laura Colbert, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future, a health care consumer advocacy group.

“Health care has been a top issue for voters and consumers for a number of years now, and I think that we’re seeing exactly what doesn’t work under a magnifying glass,” she said. “So, in Georgia, we’ve got about a 15% uninsured rate. We’ve got many folks above that 15% who have health insurance but are considered underinsured, or even if they don’t fall, technically, within the category of underinsured, many feel like they’re being stretched too thin with premiums and deductibles.”

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