Good Health a Growing Concern for All Georgians

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Good health is a growing concern for all Georgians. Health care is at the forefront of political debate, and every day the media bombard us with mounds of new plans for health reform. If we look at health insurance coverage in Georgia we learn from Kaiser State Health Facts that:

  • 8.9 million children ages 0 – 18 and 1.3 million adults ages 19 – 64 lack health insurance.
  • Nearly 51 percent of adults living in poverty are uninsured.
  • Medicaid covers 58 percent of children living in poverty while 25.1 percent are without health insurance.
  • The unemployment rate in Georgia has climbed from 6.2 percent in July 2008 to 10.3 percent in 2009.

According to the 2009 KIDS COUNT report, Georgia ranks 46th in the nation in high-school dropout rates, 44th in the rates of low-birthweight and idle teens, 43rd in the rate of children living in single-parent families, and 42nd in infant mortality rate. All these indicators directly or indirectly affect the health of all Georgians and point to the growing need for affordable, quality health care and health insurance coverage that is accessible to all.

We at Georgia Family Connection Partnership want to share information with our collaborative partners and friends to enrich discussions in the state on this critical issue.

National and local experts gathered at the State Bar of Georgia Auditorium in August to discuss the latest issues, developments, and options we hear about in the national health debate. The event offered guidance on what is needed to make real change in health reform in our state. Lawyers, health-care advocates, policymakers, community activists, and concerned citizens were among the participants.

Health Law Reform Program Highlights
Watch a video presentation of the complete 3.5 hour session to hear experts respond to key questions and separate fact from fiction on this issue. Presentations include:

    What plans are on the table in Congress?
    Judith Solomon, Esq.
    Senior Fellow in Health Policy
    Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Washington, D.C.

    What will they cost? Who will pay and how?
    Timothy Sweeney
    Senior Healthcare Analyst
    Georgia Budget and Policy Priorities – Atlanta, Georgia

    What is needed to make health reform a reality?
    Mike King
    Journalist, Marietta, Georgia

    How will the plans affect children; seniors; people with disabilities, pre-existing conditions, and mental illness; rural residents; reproductive health; and others?
    Advocates, Georgia Organizations

Event sponsors included Georgia Association for Women Lawyers, Families First, Georgians for a Healthy Future, and Atlanta Regional Health Forum.

It’s time to improve health care and lower costs to individuals, businesses, and government. It’s time to back common-sense solutions. You can help move this debate forward in a positive way:

  1. Educate yourself about health reform. Move beyond ideology as you seek information.
  2. Speak with others about the real change in health reform that is needed in Georgia. Talk to your friends, colleagues, and those who represent you in the Georgia General Assembly and in the U.S. Congress.
  3. Participate in public forums on health reform and get involved with with your local Family Connection collaborative organization.

Other Helpful Related Resources

Kaiser Family Foundation has set up an interactive Side-by-Side Comparison of Major Health Care Reform Proposals

AARP Health Action Now, Myths Vs. Facts

Georgia Budget and Policy Institute Analysis of HealthCare Policy
Paying for National Health Insurance Reform – August, 2009
Presentation by Tim Sweeney, Senior Healthcare Analyst

National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities, Policy Insights, 1 (3),The Future of Long-Term Services as Viewed through the Prism of Health Reform Legislation

National Women’s Law Center, Reform Matters, Women in Georgia Need Health Reform

Voices for Georgia’s Children, Principles for Health Reform for Children

Naja Williamson
Georgia KIDS COUNT Coordinator
404-527-7394 (x133)     

William Valladares
Communications Coordinator
404-527-7394 (x114)