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NCODA Spring Forum 2018

Rep. Doug Collins: Providing Healthcare vs Health Insurance

Georgia is struggling with people who are able to get health insurance, but not access care; unfortunately, little is expected to get done in Washington, DC, with 2018 being an election year, according to Representative Doug Collins, R-Georgia.


Georgia is struggling with people who are able to get health insurance, but not access care; unfortunately, little is expected to get done in Washington, DC, with 2018 being an election year, according to Representative Doug Collins, R-Georgia.

Transcript

What changes do you foresee in how states will be administering Medicaid?

It was really the question of all last year. I think right now we’re sort of in a loggerhead in Congress: what do we do and how do we move forward? And I think when you look at it from the expansion perspective, you look at what traditional Medicaid is supposed to be about—that is the aged, blind, disabled, those kind of things—I think the discussion is, is this Medicaid expansion actually taking away from the ones who should actually be getting the help? So, I think those are the types of conversations we’ll continue to have, and we’ll see how that moves forward.

Right now, it’s going to be a little bit more difficult with an election year. There’s a lot of things going on, a lot of moving parts. Last year’s failure [to repeal the Affordable Care Act] though actually was a failure for the American people in healthcare. Because we have a system that is broken, and we have a system that is not working. And even for those who are able to get some of this, they’re not able to access healthcare. They have insurance maybe, but not healthcare.

How will recent policy changes from the Trump administration impact health insurance exchanges in Georgia?

We’re a federal exchange in Georgia. The problem I’ve seen with the federal exchange in Georgia is the lack of [payers]. We have, I think it’s now 5—4 depending on where you want to look—most of my state, 159 counties, most are only truly served by 1 healthcare [payer]. That one [payer] is really, with the costs, deductibles, co-pays, is keeping it out of the mainstream hands. And, also, we have a lot of facilities and providers just not taking that insurance.

At the end of the day, it’s sort of, unfortunately, a pipe dream. It’s like a mirage—they see the insurance and our families want to get it but at the same time they can’t access it, and at the end of the day it’s too much.

So, again, it goes back to that issue of, “Do we do health insurance? Or do we do healthcare?” I’m more for healthcare through a use of health insurance. And I think that’s just a different way to look at it.

 
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