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AHCJ Atlanta Chapter: State health law implementation — Race to the starting line

03/05/13     Atlanta, GA

AHCJ chapter event

Please join the Atlanta chapter of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the nonpartisan Alliance for Health Reform for a special event on Tuesday, March 5.

Health insurance expert Bill Custer, Medicaid expert Tim Jost and Grady Memorial Hospital CEO John Haupert will address the complex issues that Georgia faces this year leading up to major 2014 health law changes.

Date: Tuesday, March 5
Time: 7 p.m. refreshments provided; 7:30 p.m. program
Location: Ri Ra Irish Pub, 1080 Peachtree St Ne, Atlanta, GA

This event is sponsored by AHCJ, the Alliance for Health Reform and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Moderator: Ed Howard, executive vice president of the Alliance for Health Reform, a nonpartisan, nonprofit health policy group in Washington, D.C.

Panelists:

  • Andy Miller, editor/CEO, Georgia Health News
  • Timothy Jost, professor, Washington and Lee University School of Law
  • William Custer, professor, Georgia State University
  • John Haupert, president and CEO, Grady Health System

Less than a year from now, states must be ready to enroll millions of people in insurance exchanges, as outlined in the 2010 health care overhaul law. Or the federal government will step in to do the job, or part of it. States also have the option of opening their Medicaid programs to millions of new participants. But that's not much time, considering their long to-do lists.

At least half a dozen Republican governors had delayed implementation efforts in hopes that the Supreme Court would rule the law unconstitutional, or that Gov. Mitt Romney would win the November election and repeal the law. Neither happened, but even if they decide now to run their own exchanges, it will be difficult for those states - and some others - to be ready in time, say health care experts.

Republican Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said in August that he will not use federal money to expand Medicaid in Georgia, and the state is expected to allow the federal government to operate its insurance exchange.

How will a federal exchange work, and will the federal government be ready to begin enrolling people this fall? Will hospitals and insurers be ready in time? Can states change their mind about expanding Medicaid? Can they partially expand Medicaid? Will some people who would have gotten Medicaid get subsidies to instead buy coverage in the insurance exchange? How many uninsured people will Georgia have and who will care for them?

This briefing will help you answer these questions for your readers, viewers and listeners.

RSVP to Marilyn Werber Serafini at mserafini@allhealth.org or (202)789-2300.