Blog (December 2011)
The Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Committee issued its final report this week, calling for the development of a small business health insurance marketplace outside the context of the exchange framework authorized by the Affordable Care Act but failing to explicitly recommend the establishment of a health insurance exchange for individual consumers. Georgians for a Healthy Future’s Executive Director, a member of the committee, wrote a minority report calling for Georgia to take advantage of the opportunity to cover the uninsured and improve our health insurance marketplace by building a Georgia exchange in 2012. You can read the committee report, the minority report, and all other supplemental materials here.
Our Executive Director, Cindy Zeldin, was named by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) as one of 28 consumer liaison representatives from across the country for 2012. The NAIC/Consumer Liaison Committee assists the NAIC in its mission to support state insurance regulation by providing consumer views on insurance regulatory issues and provides a forum for ongoing dialogue between NAIC Members and Consumer Representatives. This appointment comes at a critical time, as the NAIC has been delegated a central role in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act by establishing standards, definitions, and consulting on model regulations—policy choices that will have a big impact on health care consumers here in Georgia and around the country. The NAIC news release is available here.
On Wednesday November 30, Georgians for a Healthy Future hosted the last “Building a Healthy Georgia” event for 2011 in Savannah. Building a Healthy Georgia: Widening the Safety Net and Ensuring Greater Access to Carebrought together medical professionals, safety net providers, students/academia, etc. to examine how people who currently use the safety net and are uninsured will have new options under the ACA, what that will look like and how to empower communities to take up the cause and make upcoming changes to Georgia’s healthcare infrastructure work for consumers across the state. Our panelists included:
- Nicole Oretsky, PhD, Assistant Professor, SSU Urban Studies & Planning
- Paula Reynolds, MD, MPH, Executive Director, Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council (CCSNPC)
- Cindy Zeldin, MA, Executive Director, Georgians for a Healthy Future
- Robert Bush, JD, Senior Staff Attorney, Elder Law Project, Georgia Legal Services Program
Professor Oretsky started off with an in-depth look at the societal and economic factors that have gotten us to our current state of health care. Then Dr. Reynolds went into great detail explaining how the safety net effectively operates in the region but also pointed out ways it could and should be bolstered to serve more individuals, particularly with the upcoming Medicaid expansion and health care reform in general. GHF Executive Director Cindy Zeldin then transitioned the conversation to the specifics of the Affordable Care Act with particular emphasis on how it will affect those who access the safety net. Given the contention surrounding the new health law, we wrapped up the conversation with Robert Bush talking about the constitutionality of the law, the challenges it faces in the courts and hypothetical outcomes. All in all, the conversation took both an in-depth look and an aerial view of the health care issues that not only affect the Coastal region, but the entire state, and in fact the country. To view the power point slides from the event, click here. To view the pictures from the event, click here.
This event marks the end of the Building a Healthy Georgia campaign for 2011, but we know there is more work to do and look forward to continuing to build with you in 2012. Check back to our event page after the New Year to get involved.