ATLANTA, March 10, 2017 – Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, along with Senators Burke, Hufstetler, Unterman, Watson and Jack Hill, held the first meeting of Georgia’s Health Care Reform Task Force. They were joined by nationally recognized health care experts Joseph Antos, Scholar at The American Enterprise Institute, and Jim Frogue, who served as Senior Health Policy Advisor to the Trump Campaign, as they discussed Georgia’s future as a leader in advancing patient-centered health care reforms.
“I’m bringing together legislators and health care experts so we can work towards comprehensive health care reform for all Georgians,” said Lt. Governor Cagle. “It is crucial to have an open dialogue with Secretary Price and Congress as we reform our private insurance market and health care system. Our goal is to foster a more sustainable system to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship, enhancing the quality of care available and controlling the cost of coverage.”
Frogue remarked, "Under the ACA, rates for non-group insurance have gone up significantly. One of the most important challenges that Georgia can address through reform is to make sure people are incentivized to get into the system before they get sick. Making sure people are getting coverage at the right time and maintaining it is the key to controlling the costs of premiums. Our goal should always be to make people healthier and focus on outcomes.”
“Innovation in developing new delivery models for care is one of the most critical reforms that will lower costs and expand access to the care patients need,” said Antos. “In many ways, the role of government here is to get out of the way. There are a lot of rules that make it difficult to find efficiencies, but some of the greatest medical practices in the country are highly successful because they developed new ideas to efficiently deliver care. The time for Georgia to act is now.”
Georgia’s Health Care Reform Task Force will ensure Georgia’s health care policies are guided by the following key principles:
PATIENTS FIRST: The doctor-patient relationship is paramount. Reforming our health care system will make certain that Georgia’s citizens receive high-quality care from the doctors they choose. We will ensure every decision rests with the individual, not a network of bureaucrats.
PATIENT DRIVEN: Health insurance should be personalized to meet the needs of individuals and their families. Repealing and replacing Obamacare will permit us to stop forcing citizens to pay more for less, without subsidizing other expenses unrelated to each patient’s care. Increased flexibility will allow for providers and doctors to innovate and offer their patients higher quality care at lower costs.
PATIENT ACCESS: People need access to health care solutions that fit their needs and budgets. Reform will increase diversity and choice in the marketplace so that all consumers can best determine the right policies for themselves and their families. Georgia’s taxpayers should not be forced to shoulder the burden for federal mandates.
PATIENT-SPECIFIC: With more than 330 million people across our nation who have very different healthcare challenges, we cannot afford to sustain one-size-fits-all insurance policies. Georgia’s leaders are closest to the people who we serve, and we can best adapt to meet the evolving challenges our citizens face. Medicaid funding should be realigned to stretch our limited dollars further and provide the highest quality of care to those who need it most.
Georgia’s Health Care Reform Task Force will continue to hold meetings in the coming months.