Senate leaders meet with health providers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Senate leaders meet with health providers

June 21, 2005

Albany -- Southwest Georgia has the highest mortality rates in cancer, heart disease, and stroke in the state. And almost double the number of people with diabetes than the rest of the state. Staggering health concerns like these brought Georgia Senate leaders to Albany Tuesday, to meet with medical professionals, to see how best to get medical care to those in need.

With health care costs skyrocketing, and more people in need of assistance, Georgia State Senate leaders look to medical experts for coordination of care. Senate President Eric Johnson of Savannah said "we think we can make people healthier, quicker, which also saves taxpayer money, by managing that patients health care better."

Four Georgia Senate leaders flew to Albany, and were joined by Senator Joseph Carter of Tifton for talks on health issues. The Senators met with Southwest Georgia medical experts, to see how best to answer huge medical needs. Senator Carter said "It's easy to say we can throw money at it. I think we got to do some restructuring."

The Senators are touring all regions of Georgia, to learn their problems. Senator Jeff Mullis said "Come out here. See it and touch it for our self to find out the key needs for people all over the state."

Of a 30 billion dollar federal and state budget in Georgia, 8 billion dollars goes to health care. And still there are people going without adequate medical care. Senate Majority Leader Tommie Williams said "It's totally out of whack. We want to move as the state of Georgia to consumer driven care, so that the Doctor and the Patient is where the contract is actually made."

More than two million people in Georgia are qualified for Medicaid. These Senators say they want to see how they can get them the best health care, without bankrupting Georgia.

The Senators report that a staggering two-thirds off all the births last year in the second congressional district were paid for by Medicaid.

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