READERS WRITE: MAR. 13

Pending bill could improve health insurance options

Ariel Hart hit the nail on the head when she noted that patients have been “stuck in the middle” (“Surprise medical bills targeted in Georgia Senate bill,” Politically Georgia, Feb. 27). Georgia has some of the narrowest health insurance networks in the country, which means insurers offer fewer in-network options to control costs. These narrow networks create a hidden coverage gap that patients don’t realize exists until it’s too late. Of course, patients are also paying higher premiums and deductibles. And these same insurance companies are subjecting physicians to insufficient and unsustainable, take-it-or-leave-it contracts. As the leading voice for physicians in the state, the Medical Association of Georgia consequently supports a bill by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler that unanimously passed the Georgia Senate. SB 359 leverages an independent and verifiable database to establish a fair reimbursement schedule for physicians who care for patients on an “out-of-network” basis in emergency services settings. This will incentivize insurers to negotiate in good faith. MAG believes SB 359 represents a sustainable solution that will provide every Georgian with peace of mind by putting an end to surprise bills.

DR. FRANK MCDONALD, PRESIDENT, MEDICAL ASSOCIATION OF GEORGIA

Lawmakers harmed state by punishing Delta

Once again, legislators under the Gold Dome have shot themselves in the foot (pun intended) over Delta’s decision to end its marketing program with the NRA. Lawmakers’ decision to punish Delta by canceling tax breaks will no doubt be viewed negatively by companies considering a move to Georgia – that is, Amazon. What happens if Amazon chooses Atlanta and then decides not to sell products containing peanuts? Will Georgia lawmakers rescind the tax breaks offered to lure Amazon here? Delta has decided to end its marketing partnership with an organization that supports assault weapons. Politicians who challenge this decision may find themselves bumped from their next Delta flight and from office.

SCOTT BUTLER, ATLANTA

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