Blog (October 2009)
By American Cancer Society
Recently there’s been some media attention about the American Cancer Society and our views on cancer screening that may have been confusing to some. It is important to know that the American Cancer Society is not changing our screening guidelines.
The bottom line? We know that screening saves lives and creates more birthdays. We encourage women at average risk to get mammograms starting at age 40, to get Pap tests as soon as they are sexually active or no later than age 21, and both men and women at average risk to get screened for colon cancer starting at age 50. You can find our complete screening guidelines here.
Guest Blog By Tim Sweeney
Good day everyone! I’m Tim Sweeney, Sr. Healthcare Analyst with the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute, and I’m honored and excited to be a contributor to this new health blog being launched by Georgians for a Healthy Future. I’ve been working on healthcare policy issues here in Georgia for nearly five years now, and I’m happy we now have a new avenue for us to talk about healthcare issues in Georgia and to share ideas and perspectives
Without a doubt, healthcare issues are more in the forefront of the national and state debate now than in quite a long time. At the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute we strive to bring credible facts and figures to the debate, so that the decisions made are well-informed and the likely effects of the decisions are well-understood. Furthermore, we strive to examine the issues with a keen eye towards how policies and proposals will affect low- and moderate-income Georgians.
Right now, the loudest parts of the healthcare debate are centered on whether there will be a public option to compete with private insurance and what arbitrary price-tag the final legislation will have. Often less discussed are the aspects of the proposals that would provide significant funding to help millions of currently uninsured individuals and families finally afford coverage; in particular, provisions that expand the Medicaid program to cover individuals and families with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level (about $13,800 for an individual and about $24,300 for a family of 3).
By Mike King
For more than two decades a basic tenet of the Republican Party’s response to the need for health care reform has been to raise the issue of defensive medicine – and the fear doctors have of being sued – as a driving factor in the escalating cost of medical care. The party’s goal has been to enact federal legislation that would impose restrictions on plaintiffs filing malpractice suits and substantially limit the amount of money they could get from juries for non-medical damages if they successfully pressed their cases.
The GOP’s efforts have never gotten far in Congress with conventional wisdom holding that the federal legislative branch is dominated by trial attorneys who have no interest in reducing large awards for damages won for plaintiffs by their barrister colleagues. The best Republicans can probably hope for in the current health care reform bills being debated in Washington is funding for a handful of demonstration projects in the states to test whether some new ideas for how to handle malpractice claims are worth considering on a national level.
By Cindy Zeldin
Yesterday, at an event at the Georgia State Capitol, we officially launched Georgians for a Healthy Future. Our state’s challenges may be great, but by working together, we are dedicated to achieving our common goal of extending access to high quality, affordable health care to all Georgians. Photos from yesterday’s event are now up on our Facebook page.
Guest Blog By Holly Lang
In January 2009, Georgia Watch was awarded a two-year grant to help expand access to affordable health care to uninsured and underinsured consumers in the metro area. Called the Metropolitan Atlanta Hospital Accountability Project, or HAP, we’ll examine the challenges low-income, uninsured and underinsured patients face in the metro Atlanta area by surveying consumers, by analyzing the financial aid policies at area for profit and nonprofit hospitals, and by looking at current public policies that force hospitals to give free or low-cost care to the state’s uninsured and underinsured consumers. We’ll come up with ways to make those policies better.
Georgia has the sixth-highest number of residents without health insurance in the US and ranks 11th in its percentage of the population lacking coverage, according to a 2008 report from the Georgia State University’s Health Policy Center and the Center for Health Services Research. According to the report, only one in five individuals living below poverty have private insurance and nearly 38 percent are uninsured.
Guest Blog By Randi Greene-Chapman
On behalf of the American Diabetes Association, I am delighted to welcome Georgians for a Healthy Future as a new partner in advocacy and policy development that will promote health and wellness throughout Georgia. The American Diabetes Association has a long-standing commitment to health care advocacy and is the country’s leading organization promoting diabetes educational information, materials, advocacy and awareness. I am looking forward to a positive and successful working relationship with Georgians for a Healthy Future.
Advocacy plays an integral role in the American Diabetes Association’s work to fulfill its mission and we maintain a robust legislative agenda on both the state and federal levels. Our efforts in state government affairs have led to major improvements in health insurance coverage for people with diabetes, improved care for children with diabetes in schools, adoption of programs to fund diabetes research and policies to improve fitness and reduce obesity among our nation’s youth. We have successfully worked with state legislators in 46 states to pass laws that mandate insurance coverage for a variety of diabetes care needs. In addition, we have helped ensure that schools across the county are medically safe for students with diabetes.
By Mike King
The current controversy over closing Grady Memorial Hospital’s outpatient kidney dialysis clinic is indicative of more than just the struggling Atlanta hospital’s hard choices about what services it can afford to make available for the region’s poor and uninsured.
While much of the focus on the closing has centered on what to do about the illegal immigrants who depend on Grady’s dialysis unit, the pathology of the problem lies within flaws in the nation’s complicated and – at times nonsensical – policies for covering end-stage kidney disease.
To fully understand Grady’s dilemma, it helps to understand how we got here and why we’re stuck now.
Guest Blog By Brittany Freeman
The American Cancer Society is proud to congratulate Georgians for a Healthy Future on its recent launch. We are honored to share in the work of this organization that is dedicated to developing solutions and strategies that address Georgians’ need for accessible, adequate, affordable quality health care.
The American Cancer Society has been a strong advocate for cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and others since its inception. Both on the legislative front and in every community, the American Cancer Society is dedicated to expanding access to care to more individuals. Like Georgians for a Healthy Future, we believe that health care should be available, affordable, adequate and administratively simple – we refer to these as our “4 A’s”. Health care that meets these four standards, promotes prevention and focuses on quality of life will support our work to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.
By Cindy Zeldin
Welcome to Healthy Debate! Georgians for a Healthy Future is launching this blog as a forum for Georgia’s health care voices. In this space, we’ll exchange ideas, research, and information about advocacy efforts and tools. We’re starting off with some commentary pieces from local health care experts and advocates. We hope you’ll join the conversation!