3/23: New health bill proposed

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

A new health bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives calls for Medicaid and children’s health insurance allotments to be sent back to the states in the form of block grants.

A Georgia congressman speaks to the merits of the measure he co-sponsored, likening it to a safety net for the less fortunate, while a former health industry executive calls it a misguided attempt to control state and federal expenditures.

What do you think?

15 comments Add your comment


March 22nd, 2012
6:52 pm

Now the Republicans are showing their TRUE COLORS. Cutting the funds of the most poorest and defenseless Americans of all…The Children. Surely they are the party of Jesus, no doubt!


March 22nd, 2012
7:26 pm

As I read Mr. Broun’s article, it sounded not as if doctors couldn’t “afford” to accept low-income patients, but rather that they were unwilling to help them.

Poor Bernie

March 22nd, 2012
7:37 pm

Bernie, when you’re not sitting around your lair reading your dog eared copy of the Communist Manifesto do you ever have any fun? Based on your post you seem like one miserable dude.


March 22nd, 2012
8:07 pm

It seems to me that the Republicans are the communist here. they want in our bedroom,exam rooms,and now they want the money to treat all of the diabled and poor kids so they may defund Planned Parenthood as Rick Perry did in Texas. sometimes Truth is stranger than fiction.


March 22nd, 2012
8:23 pm

Repubs are hypocrites. They say they’re Christians, yet they cut funds to help the poor, the weak, and the old, the exact groups that Jesus told us to help.


March 22nd, 2012
9:08 pm

Dr Paul Broun may be a physician, and he also has a NOSE that is longer than Pinocchio when it comes to his statements here about Medicaid Funding. Georgia Medicaid pays physicians faster than any Healthcare Insurer in the STATE of Georgia. If a physician sees a medicaid patient on tuesday. If he has a competent billing staff, payment for those Tuesday services will be in his HAND no later than Thursday the following week, a (7) seven day turnaround!. No other Insurancee carrier in the nation pays that fast! If anyone does not believe that statement, I urge all of you to verify that fact with Georgia Dept Of Human Services. There no insurer in the State Of Georgia that pays a physician that fast, PERIOD. Not even BLUE Cross and Blue shield can meet that weekly physician demand.

Most Physicians in Georgia that practice medicine outside of I-285, depend on these Medicaid patients and timely payments from the State of Georgia medicaid funds. to keep there practices operational from week to week. Without those patients and those funds many would not be able to meet payroll and other overhead expenses especially in this economy. As for most of the physicians that practice within I-285, they are the ones that feel that they are losing money on these patients, primarily due to the fact that the majority of there other patients have coverage through plans that are contracted to pay at a higher rate. They only want those patients that will be them at the higher rate pure and simple. Also there is a prejudice against poorer patients in Atlanta by many of the practicing physicians. Middle class White and Black patients will leave a physician practice if they perceive there are more of them in the office during any medical visit. The physicians are sensittive to that fact and will try to limit there numbers. just for that reason alone. Dr Broun’s motives must be called into question in light of those easily verifiable facts and he knows it too!

The other issue regarding Medicaid patients theyt are the least likely to sue. They are also least likely to call most physicians after hours. why? they know from past experience that the physician never returns the calls. This is a realization most Medicaid patients have learned in real life.They will usually show up in the emergency rooms as a result, which in turns drives up the cost of the care, which could in most cases could be easily resolved in the physicians office.

We cannot any longer trust the Republican Doctors turned politicians when it comes to Healthcare issues. They will always Do HARM at every oppportunity to enrich themselves and their physician Buddies at every opportunity over the needs of their constiutents and patients. Dr.BROUN level with the people of Gerogia as to what your real motives are. For those of us in healthcare know better!


March 22nd, 2012
10:47 pm

Bernie: Democrats ain’t so great either. They murder and cause division and suffering. They are corrupt as can be. Both sides are bad.


March 23rd, 2012
9:24 am

So how does any of this political machination solve the problem of an ultimately expensive and decaying healthcare system?

Since hospitals must provide ‘free’ care to those in the ER that have no means to pay, they pass the costs on to the insurance companies. The insurers then pass that (along with a healthy overhead take) on to the insured, thereby raising their policy rates. That causes more folks into a situation to where they cannot afford insurance. Those folks then start showing up at the ER needing critical care (for free), with the hospitals passing that on to the insurers – and the expanding cycle continues.

The bad news: This is already happening. The worse news: It’s getting even worse.

Ultimately, this sort of spiral collapses, and the entire system turns into a crisis.
The result? We’ll be at a single payer system by default – but in an unplanned manner.

I agree with the ‘Medicare for All’ approach. 3% overhead allows billions more to to go to actual healthcare instead of unnecessary overhead by healthcare rationing insurers.

Granted – fraud detection needs to be carefully enabled – but let’s get it over with. This political football is wasting lots of precious hot air. We’re going to get there eventually so let’s do it in an orderly manner (without thousands of pages of legislation too!!)

Ellen Hunter Ulken

March 23rd, 2012
9:36 am

Thanks to Jack Bernard for taking the time to write the right perspective on health care. Universal Health Insurance is what is needed. A one-payor system reduces, significantly, the nightmare of bureaucracy involved in paper work for multiple insurers. Medicare works. Everybody likes it. Expand the model.


March 23rd, 2012
10:18 am

“We need alternatives” summed it up perfectly.


March 23rd, 2012
10:19 am

We need alternatives summed it up perfectly.


March 23rd, 2012
10:25 am

All of Dr. Broun’s proposed legislation in the past to reform health care totally avoided the problems of those deemed to have pre-existing conditions, or those totally uninsurable. A lot of insurance companies in Georgia will will find any lame excuse not to cover those over 50 years of age. Georgia is one of the only a few states in the nation that has never taken the time to set a high risk pool (allowing people an opportunity to buy their own insurance, even though private insurance companies in GA would not let you). It should be no surprise that we have one of the highest mortality rates in the nation, if not the worst.

Do we believe life is precious, or not? When you go to worship, ask yourself, are you doing all you can to help your fellow man, because there is too much injustice around you, and too few taking any action to help.

50,000 a year die due to lack of access to health care insurance, let alone died because they were access to critical health care. If you heart is hardened, go to a hospital, and watch one person pass away, needlessly. Volunteer, get involved, to make this world a better place.


March 23rd, 2012
10:50 am

If we had statesmen (with gender apologies…) in DC, the solutions would be easy. Unfortunately, if you follow the money that flows to our politicians, that’s not currently possible. Our political system is bought and paid for.
Maybe the ultimate collapse of the healthcare system, however painful, will bring on true reform. The current political blowhards are leading us to that reality.
It’s too bad that we have to let the situation get really bad, and let many people needlessly suffer for the system to fundamentally change.
Saying the MD’s in Congress are true medical system experts is really a stretch, since many of them have either been out of practice for many, many years, are bought by ‘Big Insurance’, have no fundamental training in economics, or don’t understand how the system really works outside the practitioners office. They only go by the expedient of not wanting to deliver the bad news to their constituency as to the health care reality. They don’t want to tell folks that ultimately, unless they are very wealthy, they won’t be able to afford health care insurance.


March 23rd, 2012
1:01 pm

Start an insurance company and then you can recommend changes and be in a position to criticize those already in business.

Steve Barnett

March 23rd, 2012
10:11 pm

The good doctor must be out of his mind. His bill will “save the federal government from borrowing and spending nearly $2 trillion every year”??? How’s that? Medical care costs real money as he should know. This madman peddling his right-wing garbage must be defeated in the next election.