Dougherty leaders study healthcare costs - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty leaders study healthcare costs

July 31, 2006

Albany - The rising cost of health care affects us all. A year ago, a group of Albany industries got to gether and formed a coalition to study health care cost. They determined that Albany's are among the highest in the country. Now, elected leaders will take a closer look to see what can be done about it.

Here's a startling statistic: According to the National Coalition on Health Care, Health care spending in the United States is more than four times the amount spent on national defense, and we're in the middle of a war.

Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard says, "Right now, health care in our country is out of whack across the board. It's the number one issue in America." An issue the county, city and business community are taking on to bring prices down.  Sinyard says, "We're trying to come up with some way of going about trying to interpret health care costs so that all of us are on the same page and can easily see and identify what those differences or those costs are."

They're hiring an independent consultant to study and compare health care costs to locations across the country, much like the coalition for Affordable Competitive Health care has been doing for the past year. Vince Falcione says, "The coalition is still growing numbers. We haven't impacted health care costs yet, but we feel that's going to come eventually."

And even though costs haven't changed, Falcione, President of CACH, believes the mindset of community leaders is. "I look at this as a win," he says.  "I mean, this is going to help Southwest Georgia."

Sinyard says, "We're not sure that this is going to solve all the problems, but it's an attempt to help solve the problems in our community." And make health care more affordable for all.

The study will cost about $35,000. The city, county and economic development will split the cost and pay about $12,000 each.

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