Georgia Lt. Governor Spells Out Some Ideas On Health Insurance Reform
Republican Lt., Governor Casey Cagle recently announced his ideas to lower health insurance rate in Georgia, and get more residents access to affordable healthcare. His proposal opens up healthcare clinics to service the poor, creates a website were residents can compare low-cost health insurance rates, and creates two new state health insurance plan offerings.
Cagel’s ideas enhance programs that are already in place to help provide Georgians with affordable healthcare coverage. But under his plan, his goal is to offer more health insurance products and make the market more competitive. And in the long run hopefully reduce costs by offering health insurance consumers more choice.
The announcement of Cagel’s plan comes amidst a flurry of activity by state legislators offering bids to provide low cost health insurance alternatives for Georgia residents. Governor Sonny Perdue recently announced his own initiative, and insurance commissioner John Oxendine is working on a soon to be released health insurance reform proposal. All the activity is stimulated by the almost 2 million folks in Georgia currently without access to affordable medical coverage. That is almost 21% of the population, ranking Cagel’s state as 6th in the nation for residents without adequate health insurance coverage.
As in most states those without medical insurance will use the emergency rooms for treatment of the most common ailments. Under Cagel’s proposals the state would provide a grant to open up free clinics for the poor to use instead of the ER’s. The states General Assembly has already encouraged the establishment of such clinics by limiting their liability, and there is a proposal in-house that may allow them to purchase their supplies tax-free.
Lt. Governor Cagel’s proposal also calls for the allowance of doctors and other healthcare providers to market their services direct to consumers, and for the establishment of a website were consumers can comparison shop for low-cost health insurance. Both measures are designed to empower consumers to take a more active role in their healthcare decisions and spending.