Posted: 8:30 am Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Oops. Closing rural hospitals would be ‘unthinkable,’ state lawmaker now says 

By Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

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State Rep. Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta, has retreated from her position that some rural Georgia hospitals need to close. AJC file/Elissa Eubanks

Our AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin opens your day with this significant bit of hard news:

State Rep. Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta, said Wednesday that closing rural hospitals is an “unthinkable proposition” — two days after telling an Atlanta radio station that some rural hospitals “need to close.”

The chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee, Cooper told the AJC that closing hospitals “would have serious consequences on the affected community, hurting it economically and limiting access to acute care for Georgians.”

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogBut she said there is a serious need for discussion and planning for the future as the economic situation facing rural hospitals continues to erode.

“If we don’t act to make real, substantive changes, we very well could be faced with the hard reality of hospital closures in rural parts of this state, no matter how many short gap measures we take, leaving many communities without the economic engine and access to care people depend on,” she said.

Cooper had come under fire since telling WABE (90.1FM) on Monday that some Georgia communities are too small to support a hospital.

“When your census is that low and you have hospital administration and you have to have 24 hour-a-day care and you have to have a pharmacy and all the other things that go with a hospital and your census runs at just minute number of patients then I think it’s time to look at the fact that maybe they need to go to regional hospitals,” Cooper told WABE’s Jonathan Shapiro.

The state’s decision not to expand Medicaid rolls, as urged under the federal Affordable Care Act, has put many Georgia hospitals – including Grady Memorial in Atlanta – in a difficult fiscal bind. Gov. Nathan Deal has refused to expand the program, citing what he said were hidden costs.

Cooper’s original comments prompted Jimmy Lewis, longtime lobbyist and activist for Hometown Health, which serves dozens of rural hospitals, on Tuesday to say that her position “that rural hospitals need to close is an imposition of Atlanta-based big urbanized government telling a rural community what to do.”

Lewis on Wednesday said that Cooper’s new comments make it clear that there must be a debate at the highest level of state government about rural health care.

“The health care debate as a system-wide debate in Georgia has not been dealt with in over 10 years,” Lewis said. “We are at a point where all bad things are intersecting: Bad economy, Obamacare, reimbursement complexity, physician shortage, state health benefit plan, cost reductions – all bad things are intersecting today and if there was a margin, it would be bad. But since these providers have no margin, it’s all exacerbated.”

Matt Caseman, executive director of the Georgia Rural Health Association, was pleased with Cooper’s latest comments.

“Representative Cooper is correct and I thank her for what she said,” Caseman told the AJC. “All you have to do is talk with the people where the hospitals have shut down and they will tell you about the devastating impact it has had on the community. More hospitals closing would be catastrophic to not only rural Georgia, but our entire state.”

***

The Deal administration’s controversial decision to go with a single company to manage the health care of 650,000 teachers, state employees, retirees and their dependents is about to hit the campaign trail.

State Superintendent John Barge, who is challenging Deal, told us he’s calling for an independent investigation into how Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia was awarded the lucrative contract.

That question is at the center of a lawsuit involving UnitedHealthcare, one of two companies that held the main contract until this month. The company argued the Department of Community Health, whose leaders are appointed by Deal, had engaged in “state-sponsored bid-rigging” and that the switch would lead to higher fees and less options.

Barge, whose core constituency is educators, said the switch has led to “really poor” insurance coverage. From the interview:

“State employees right now are beginning to see the negative impact of the new plan,” said Barge. “It appears the carrier who had our previous insurance was closed out of an almost secret bid process. I have nothing against Blue Cross and Blue Shield. I just want to ensure the process is fair. And based on what I’ve read, it doesn’t seem that way. And we certainly don’t have as good of coverage.”

***

The proposal to overhaul the medical malpractice system isn’t likely to go very far after legislators and Deal put it on the backburner. But that doesn’t mean lawmakers aren’t still getting guff over it.

Exhibit A: State Sen. Josh McKoon sent a letter to constituents defending his opposition to the measure, Senate Bill 141, after the Patients for Fair Compensation PAC ran radio ads suggesting he was choosing trial lawyers over patients. McKoon said he consulted attorneys, insurance agents, physicians and patients before making up his mind. Wrote McKoon:

“The feedback has been unanimous, SB 141 would be unconstitutional, it would be bad for patients, doctors and the entire health care system in Georgia. … I do not care how many thousands of dollars these special interests are willing to spend to distort my clear conservative record–I will not be deterred in standing up for the Constitution and your individual rights.”

***

It’s either a timely release of a string of endorsements or a sign that some conservatives are starting to coalesce behind a candidate for the seat being vacated by Rep. Phil Gingrey.

Former state Sen. Barry Loudermilk’s camp has rolled out the endorsements of Georgia Conservatives in Action and state Sen. John Albers in the last few days. Now they trumpet the support of Erick Erickson, who talks conservative politics at AM750, which is also owned by AJC parent company Cox Communications:

“This is not a ding on his opponents … I know Barry Loudermilk is willing to tell his own side no. I do believe that the past is a pretty good indicator of how people behave in the future and he in the past was willing to tell his own side no.

***

Ken who? Virginia’s new Democratic attorney general is taking quite a different path from his predecessor, failed gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli.

Attorney General Mark Herring, the Washington Post reports, plans to ask a federal court to strike down Virginia’s ban on gay marriage.

***

Last week we told you how Gov. Nathan Deal had given his tentative support to the “opt in” approach to guns. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle told our colleague Kristina Torres in an interview Wednesday he supports that strategy as well. Said Cagle:

“Provided that there are the appropriate measures built around safety and the well-being and the concern of all, I could probably be comfortable with a campus carry approach. If an individual (such as a college or a church) wants to allow someone to be granted the right to carry under a concealed weapon permit, they should have that right.”

He also joined Deal and other GOP leaders by saying he supports a move toward privatizing some DFCS services this legislative session:

“There are a number of steps that have to occur before we can really have something concrete in terms of implementation, but I do think that legislation needs to be put in place this year.”

***

You can reset your doomsday clocks for sometime in late February. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew informed Congress on Wednesday that the nation will hit the debt limit on Feb. 7, but he can pull off “extraordinary measures” to prevent a default until late in the month.

A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner had the following reply, via CBS:

“The Speaker has said that we should not default on our debt, or even get close to it, but a ‘clean’ debt limit increase simply won’t pass in the House. We hope and expect the White House will work with us on a timely, fiscally-responsible solution.”

51 comments
Bernie31
Bernie31

The Physician Shortage MS. Cooper is speaking of is a Bunch of POPPYCOCK and she knows it. This is a Problem whose Answer has been Begging to present itself before the People of Georgia. For many Years The Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Groups have been Lobbying and advocating for Independence specially to operate in the RURAL and undeserved areas of Georgia.


Due to Counter Lobbying against such a move by Physician Groups, Tom Price, Phil Gingrey,Paul Broun and their Millionaire Doctor Buddies Georgia Legislators have totally ignored and Dismissed both requests.Yet every Medical Industry Professional know without a doubt that utilizing such Providers as requested is Progressive,Wise, Cost Efficient, Reduces Medical cost and its the wave of the FUTURE.


You can see it everyday in Atlanta. Where (80) Eighty percent of Medical Practices in Atlanta utilizes Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants everyday to treat Atlanta's overwhelmingly insured Patients.Sharon knows this too...but the influence of swimming POOLS of CASH to the likes of Sharon makes her turn her HEAD in the same direction as the rest of the CLOWNS at the DOME.


This one CHANGE will address the need of Available and Accessible Healthcare like no other decision and will be a LIFE SAVER and MONEY SAVER. For Primary Care Services You cannot find a Better and Cheaper option of CARE in America. Why the Clown Posse at the Dome still insist on this Charade of STUPIDITY is beyond me. I suppose sticking to school bus drivers and Fox News war on Christmas in school is FAR more important to these Republican Clowns.

Sharon does not want You to know or be aware of such things.


isn't that right Sharon?

Uhh...huh

Charles50
Charles50

Talk about a 180 degree turn.  Ole Sharon must have gotten plenty of calls and emails.  I hope United Healthcare goes to court and wins.  More investigating of the BC/BS bid award will probably be easy if you follow the money.  Say 1/2 up front and 1/2 upon receipt of the bid.  

DaltonbywayofBickley
DaltonbywayofBickley

A study in Tennessee found a great many people in rural communities bypassed their local hospitals out of a perception care at an urban facility would be better just because it's bigger. In fact for most routine care it's just as good.

TrueBlueDem
TrueBlueDem

Follow the money.....how much has Blue Cross given to Governor Deal both in his campaign and DealPAC?

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Good point.  

This centrist is early retired - enjoying the tropics and can web surf by the pool, on the beach, and boat.

SaveAmericaFromItself
SaveAmericaFromItself

"So far today, one Republican poster, one centrist, and 15 posts from Democrats (several duplicates).

A good example of the mostly minority party readership of the AJC." The_Centrist

Most Republicans are working and don't waste their time on the AJC. 

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Do state employees really want Wellpoint-Blue Cross back after that awful experience 10 years ago.  Constant phone calls to one's physician arguing about one's care.  "We can't pay for that MRI or CT scan unless that person remains in pain for at least 6 months."  "Doctor, our doctor says that he knows more about your patient than you do and that medicine you are prescribing will not be paid for.  Tell your patient that he should try a warm bath for 2 or 3 months first."

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Close Phoebe Putney, Athens Regional, Grady, etc.?  This woman should be charged with premeditated murder.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Apparently even some of the least astute Republicans are beginning to realize that the decision not to expand Medicaid was the least wise financial decision ever made by any government.  Pay federal taxes that could be returned to Georgia, but send them to California instead?  They are laughing out loud at Georgia.  Add a 'Bed Tax' to every hospitalization and consequently raise health insurance premiums and state taxes?  Who thought up this crazy program?  A failed businessman that's who.  Unethical?  Of course.  Stupid?  You decide.  Seems straight forward to me.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

This column is related to the fact that the big business/corporate interests of the Republican Party are of primary interests to these politicians and not the common good, imo. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of Georgia's legislators are ALEC members - including Rep. Sharon Cooper, who is quoted above. ALEC promotes privatizing public schools and does not support the ACA, or Obamacare, which means that they do not support expanding Medicaid (a part of the ACA), which would be entirely paid for by federal funds the first few years, and thereafter paid by federal funds by 90%. Georgians pay federal taxes, already, that would take care of expanding Medicaid. Not expanding Medicaid is a large factor in having to close hospitals in S. Georgia, imo. Georgians' federal taxes are going to pay for Medicaid expansion in other states in the United States which do not have legislatures that are so ideologically ingrained in the Republican political agenda, via ALEC.


Please read my related words, below, regarding corporate interests on Wall Street, published in Jay Bookman's blog this morning, which also expose ALEC's infiltration into Georgia's Republican legislature.

===============================================================


" 'They privatized the profits of their risk-taking ventures, and when those risks failed, they socialized the costs, and they did so on a grand scale.'
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Self-serving and greed in the extreme. No consciousness of the concept of egalitarianism. No consciousness of serving the interests of the common good. There is a real danger of our democratic Republic's being destroyed, from within, when those CEOs who speak entirely for self-serving corporate/business interests get totally in bed with our public representatives. Then, our representatives are no longer working for the people's interests, as a whole, but working for the wealth/power interests of corporations and big business.

Keep a close eye on Georgia's legislation this year because 38% of our legislators are ALEC members (90 Republican legislators). Btw, 100% of Iowa's legislators are members of ALEC, as is now also true in other states. I have just touched the top of this undemocratic iceberg, with facts, which will inform. Be aware of how you are being manipulated in thought and in what is happening to our democracy by the top 1% of the business community. Again, the sustaining of our democracy depends upon your awareness, your aware voices, and your aware votes.

I challenge you to watch the video from the below segment of Chris Hayes' "All In" broadcast, last evening, regarding how ALEC is taking over our state legislatures:"

http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/exclusive-how-alec-serves-the-right-124968515783 

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

So far today, one Republican poster, one centrist, and 15 posts from Democrats (several duplicates).

A good example of the mostly minority party readership of the AJC.

Bernie31
Bernie31

Reflecting on State Rep. Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta comment of determining A hospital's Success or Failure based on Census NUMBERS is so outdated and detached from reality.  Census numbers only provide a fraction of the DATA to make an informed decision as to whether  the success of any Hospital is viable or not.



DeepCover
DeepCover

Once again, I challenge everyone to really press their elected officials on HOW they would solve this healthcare problem.  At LEAST Rep. Cooper had a solution...to close hospitals and eliminate access.  You can't say you want to "address" the healthcare issue without actually sharing your plan.


...I know this is going to strike some conservatives as being odd, but it costs MONEY to deliver healthcare. 

Bernie31
Bernie31

State Rep. Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta,...I would say No KIDDING, Sherlock. Anytime a Hospital closes in any Community or Area its impact ripples throughout every business and resident in the area. An event that once this service is closed, it is highly unlikely it will return in a community.

The chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee. 

SHAMEFUL comment by Ms.Cooper proving She is NOT FIT nor Qualified to hold such a position of Crucial Importance to the Citizens of Georgia. We might as well have BOZO THE CLOWN as Head of this committee. At least we would get a Laugh somewhere along the way.

Bernie31
Bernie31

What John Barge does Not Know the problem is NOT with Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Its the State of Georgia SORRY ARSE investment into a DECENT Healthcare Plan. Blue Cross is always willing to Play Ball, but you get what you pay for.


You cannot PAY hamburger prices and expect to be served a T-BONE STEAK.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Using "Oops" in the headline pretending that Cooper has reversed herself when she is only pointing to the future instead of immediate regionalization is a bias trick.


Only liberals could claim the "the state’s decision not to expand Medicaid rolls has put many Georgia hospitals in a difficult fiscal bind".  In the real world, the lack of a bailout is not the cause.



Bernie31
Bernie31

State Rep. Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta,...I would say No KIDDING, Sherlock. Anytime a Hospital closes in any Community or Area its impact ripples throughout every business and resident in the area. An event that once this service is closed, it is highly unlikely it will return in a community.

The chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee. 

SHAMEFUL comment by Ms.Cooper proving She is NOT FIT nor Qualified to hold such a position of Crucial Importance to the Citizens of Georgia. We might as well have BOZO THE CLOWN as Head of this committee. At least we would get a Laugh somewhere along the way.

Starik
Starik

Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee?

These Republican ex-Dixiecrats get their electoral support from (1) rural people and (2) suburban people...without supporting either. 



Shar1
Shar1

Someone forgot to give Rep. Cooper the memo reminding Republicans to keep from telling poor, black, rural or Democrat Georgians to drop dead until after the elections.


And Mr. Cagel?  Your "concern of all" obviously does not include mine, the mother of a current UGA student who routinely sees stressed out fellow students do stupid, destructive things in the heat of adolescent panic.  Putting a gun in the hands of such a student is inexcusable.  Open your office to frenzied constituents with concealed weapons and then we'll talk.  Until then, stop stuffing your pockets with NRA money in return for making my daughter a target.

SouthGeorgiareader
SouthGeorgiareader

The BC/BS plan for active state employees, teachers, and retirees under age 65 is an insult and inferior coverage compared to the previous UHC plan. There was something suspicious about the bid award by Deal's cronies, so I hope Barge can move this issue to the forefront and drill down to the truth.  There are 650,000 folks waiting to hear the bottom line about the wild increase in premiums and serious drop in benefits.  The word is that the state saved upward of $100 million in making this change, and state employees and their families are suffering because of it. This $100 million will probably be viewed by some legislators as a source for more tax cuts for corporations.

There is a parallel in Deal's decision not to expand Medicaid---he doesn't want to help 500,000 Georgians who are desperate for health insurance and won't qualify for help unless he changes his position.  These folks are now emergency room cases which will bleed the rural hospitals dry and force closures in accordance with the Governor's intent.  Do you see a trend in these two issues?

DS
DS

"Nathan Deal has refused to expand the [Medicaid] program, citing what he said were hidden costs."

Oh, so now it's hidden costs? His excuses keep changing. In his state-of-the-state message, he seemed to imply that expansion would cost 650,000 people x $10,000/person, a gross misrepresentation of the facts.

Medicaid expansion in Georgia is already paid for at the federal level---we just aren't taking our fair share. At the state level, Georgia would have to pony up an additional $2.5 B over the first 10 years, an increase of 7.6%. Not a lot more. But we'd receive $40 B in federal funding, add 70,000 jobs and help hospitals survive by decreasing their costs of providing indigent care.

This is why conservative Arizona governor Jan Brewer decided to expand Medicaid in her state. She's opposed to ACA on principle, but she recognizes a great deal when she sees one.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

As I posted earlier, if legislators vote to close hospitals, then they should not be able to access any hospitals in  their and the surrounding counties where they live. Let them see/feel what it is like!


Can guns be carried into the Capitol  freely?


Milton: Your empathy for those who need medical marijuana is really touching!

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

"I do not cease to be amazed at the  depths to which these amateurs will sink in order to resist implementation of Federal law"

Gotta love that lib logic complaining about states not implementing federal law but turn the other cheek when their savior Obama looks the other way while states legalize dope despite federal law which prohibits it.

Lib logic = Only enforce those laws/rules hat we like; ignore all others

Likewise
Likewise

A republican back tracks after a lobbyist complains?  Say it ain't so.

AWA1
AWA1

@Charles50 Sharon probably heard from WellStar, which is in her district. They'd love to pick up some of those regional and local hospitals cheap. Then they'd make those into referral sites and send everyone up to the mothership facility in Marietta.


honested
honested

@MaryElizabethSings 

Unfortunately, those who vote for republicans in this state either:

1-Don't know what ALEC is.

2-Are too stupid to comprehend just how dangerous ALEC is

3-Think they must be a great group since they support our overlords.

Charles50
Charles50

@TrueBlueDem My understanding is $25,000, while United Healthcare gave $50,000.  However I'm guessing that BC/BS will contribute considerably more now that the bid has been awarded to them.

honested
honested

@SaveAmericaFromItself 

Really?

I put in my 12 hours every day, but I NEVER delude myself with the myth "the government should run like a business" as I am well aware that the best efforts in the world are NOT directed to profit.

DannyX
DannyX

@SaveAmericaFromItself,  so I take it you're a Democrat?


You and The_Centrist are both out of work?  You both waste a lot of time here.  



Charles50
Charles50

@Ralph-43 The answer is not no, but h#ll no.  But they don't have the luxury of choice.  Wow, Repugs take that away AGAIN.  

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Ralph-43 The Physician You are speaking of is the Gatekeeper to Help BCBS keep its costs down on The MRI and CT scan testing.  Such Testing to be Honest and truthful with

you, sometimes such oversight can run counterproductive or slow down the delivery care but the intent is GOOD, cost effective and wise. 

If the treating Physician and His/her Office follows established protocols on such testing for State and BCBS members, patient ill will can and should not be necessary to have occurred.


MRI & CT scan testing is one of the most expensive and often over utilized on the Market. 

for a Number of area Physicians, such testing is profit driven.  Many times these Physicians have a financial stake directly or indirectly ALL over Atlanta and America. There is  financial stake on average about $500-$800) per Patient.


A Nice little side income to have, if you a Physician generate 5-10 referrals or more a WEEK.


Typically the advice after such a referral is made and reviewed if established protocols are not documented and the medical issue is not clearly medically necessary visible by the treating physician or the reviewing. Typically a recommendation is made, such as a round of prescriptions, along with other available options. Only afterwards then such testing is allowed to move forward.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@Ralph-43 She is simply reiterating the repuppy stance on healthcare for Americans: "Let 'em die."

DannyX
DannyX

"one centrist"  LMAO!


More like one Republican, one far-right crazy Tea Party partisan, and posts from some Democrats.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@DeepCover - First of all the Legislators should authorize  Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants more authority to provide Medical care in Rural Georgia. It would improve access to basic primary care at a cheaper rate and its cost effective than paying an MD. 


Expand Medicaid and take The STATE savings over the Next (3) THREE years and RE-TOOL Georgia's Medicaid SYSTEM from TOP to BOTTOM. Make it a state of the art system to be envied and studied by the world. Make it more efficient to track foster care child problems, medicaid eligibility, Claims processing auditing to catch over billing and FRAUD from Physicians and Hospitals. this is where the most HIGH dollar Fraud occurs.

These Changes Alone would vastly improve the entire operation 200% and SAVE MONEY!

But Congressional Doctors and Republicans of Ga say NO!  we must make OBAMACARE FAIL! even if Georgians MUST DIE!

DannyX
DannyX

@The_Centrist, only a real nut would see Cooper's new position as anything other than a complete reversal.

Charles50
Charles50

@MiltonMan So I guess you keep missing the part of the news reports that state these laws are only applicable in that particular State and if a person attempts to use the drug in another state they are subject to those laws and the federal laws.  


I though you Repugs were all about "states" rights.  

DannyX
DannyX

@MiltonMan, gotta love your twisted logic, medical marijuana didn't start with Obama.  Seems to me George W Bush looked the other way as well.


MiltonMan logic = Only become hysterical when Democrats are in power, ignore all facts.  Shout "states rights" only when convenient.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@honested@MaryElizabethSings


We must not give up on making citizens aware of how dangerous ALEC can be to the sustaining of our Democratic Republic, even here in Georgia.  There is much power and wealth, including the support of the Koch Brothers, behind the funding of ALEC's secretive agenda.  People are not "stupid," they are simply unaware.

BK37
BK37

@DannyX @SaveAmericaFromItself LOL!!!  It never ceases to amaze me how some cons continue to believe the myth that liberals do nothing but sit on their butts all day waiting for a govt handout.  

Charles50
Charles50

@Bernie31 @Ralph-43 United Healthcare did a very good job of keeping cost down and also making sure the patient got what they needed.  I'm covered under this plan.


Last year my cardiologist requested an MRI over catheterization (sp).  Initially UHC said no.  One of their doctors called mine and they spoke.  Mine was able to explain why he preferred the MRI.   It was definitely the best overall route for me.  It gave a full picture of my heart and what was going on.  My doc was considering surgery which he discovered was not necessary because he was able to see the big picture.  

Bernie31
Bernie31

@AuntieChrist@Ralph-43 IS that NOT exactly what is the REAL STRATEDGY and Plan for America, from those of The Conservative RIGHT?

The Party of No.....and Hell No!

Uh..huh

AWA1
AWA1

@DannyX@MiltonMan W was looking the other way, hoping some cocaine came with the marijuana ....


Charles50
Charles50

@BK37 @DannyX @SaveAmericaFromItself Yeah BK you know liberals don't own businesses.  And I guess those who post on this blog must be taking up time on computers at the library since it's free.  I suppose that once their time limit is up they simply go talk on their free Obama phone.  These Repugs are a piece of work.  

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Charles50@Bernie31@Ralph-43- What you are not aware of Blue Cross and Blue shield is a Far Better Plan overall and closer connected to area Physicians than UHC.

The same Physician process goes on with Blue Cross and Blue shield as well.

Cost containment will be a guiding factor going forward in Healthcare.

Charles50
Charles50

@Bernie31 The backdoor version of death panels that they blamed on Obamacare.

Trackbacks

  1. […] I like to give credit where it’s due.  And a H/T should be given to Chairman Sharon Cooper who has told the AJC that closing rural hospitals would be “unthinkable”, and to do so, “would have serious consequences on the affected community, hurting it economically and limiting a…  […]

  2. […] Cooper attempted to dial back her comments by telling the Atlanta Journal Constitution that closing rural hospitals “would have serious consequences on the affected community, hurting […]

  3. […] brushed aside the push by state Superintendent John Barge, one of his GOP challengers, for an investigation into how Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia […]

  4. […] Oops. Closing rural hospitals would be 'unthinkable,' state lawmaker now says The state's decision not to expand Medicaid rolls, as urged under the federal Affordable Care Act, has put many Georgia hospitals – including Grady Memorial in Atlanta – in a difficult fiscal bind. Gov. Nathan Deal has refused to expand the program … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) […]

  5. […] Oops. Closing rural hospitals would be ‘unthinkable,’ state lawmaker now says […]

  6. […] via Oops. Closing rural hospitals would be ‘unthinkable,’ state lawmaker now says | Political Inside…. […]

  7. […] brushed aside the push by state Superintendent John Barge, one of his GOP challengers, for an investigation into how Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia […]

  8. […] Oops. Closing rural hospitals would be 'unthinkable,' state lawmaker now says The state's decision not to expand Medicaid rolls, as urged under the federal Affordable Care Act, has put many Georgia hospitals – including Grady Memorial in Atlanta – in a difficult fiscal bind. Gov. Nathan Deal …. Georgians' federal taxes are … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) […]