September 3, 2012

Most of the news last week was focused on the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa. Some of the proposed healthcare changes in the Republican platform were reported on in the New York Times’ “Platforms Sharp Turn to the Right Has Conservatives Cheering.” The health care platform includes a call to reform Medicare based on a proposal set forth by Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan. They suggest raising the age at which people can receive Medicare; however, the exact age is not specified. The biggest change, though, would be to change Medicare for individuals under 55. They would be given a set amount of money from Medicare to take into the marketplace and buy insurance coverage from private insurers or a traditional Medicare plan. Finally, the platform calls for the Affordable Care Act to be repealed.

On the state level, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Georgia Governor Deal became the latest governor to reject Medicaid expansion. With the Medicaid expansion, approximately 650,000 Georgians would have been provided with health coverage, but Deal says that it will cost the state too much -- about $450 million per year over a ten-year time period. The following day, though, Governor Deal – in an interview with Georgia Health News – said that he hasn’t completely ruled out the idea of a Medicaid expansion if the program were changed to a block grant, an idea advocated by GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

This week’s Democratic National Convention will certainly be the focus of the week’s news, and we’ll keep all of our partners updated on relevant issues, especially associated with the health care platform.