Governor vetoes Senate bill for new health policy chief and innovation council
Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have created a state health policy director and a council to develop a “strategic vision’’ for Georgia health care. In his veto message, Deal said Senate Bill 357, “while well-intentioned, creates several unnecessary additional levels of government.’’ The legislation was backed by key... Read more
Commentary: Big Pharma’s stance on drug prices puts America last
Three years ago, the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the cost of the lifesaving drug Daraprim by 5,000 percent. Overnight, its price tag skyrocketed from $13.50 a pill to $750. That CEO, Martin Shkreli, is serving a prison term for securities fraud unrelated to Daraprim. But that drug, which... Read more
Blue Cross, Piedmont claim progress, but no breakthrough
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Piedmont Healthcare each said Tuesday that they’re making progress in negotiations to reach a new contract. But major hurdles remain before the insurance giant and the expanding hospital system can reach an agreement. Face-to-face meetings between Blue Cross and Piedmont occurred Monday and Tuesday. The contract... Read more
Governor comes to aid of state workers hit by insurance standoff
Gov. Nathan Deal, continuing his public pressure on Piedmont and Blue Cross in their contract stalemate, said Tuesday that the state and University System of Georgia will absorb out-of-network costs for employees for up to 30 days to reduce their potential financial burden. The extraordinary step comes in the wake of Sunday’s lapse... Read more
Commentary: Squeezing patients is no way to help Georgia hospitals
A legislative proposal that has passed the Georgia House would intertwine hospital finances and individuals’ income tax returns. House Bill 81, sponsored by Rep. Tom McCall, an Elberton Republican, would allow public hospitals to seize patients’ income tax returns over unpaid medical bills. The debt would have to be... Read more

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