Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan announced a task force on health care access and cost Wednesday.
Members include Senate leaders on health care issues and various officials of companies and institutions with a stake in the high cost of health care. That includes a human resources official, who has to deal with employee health care costs, and Clark Howard, a consumer advocate with a large following and audience on News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB who also writes a column for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
It also includes representatives who sell some of the products and services that are driving up health care costs, such as hospitals and pharmacies, and the insurance companies that are helping shift those costs increasingly to consumers. There’s also a representative of the governor’s office and university experts in health informatics.
Duncan’s office said in a statement that the task force will focus on “price transparency and other free market solutions,” technology and employer innovation.
The task force was not created by legislation, but such task forces are frequently the springboard to propose new bills in the upcoming session. Former Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle also had a health care task force.
Members of the new task force, according to Duncan’s office:
Chairman, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan
Sen. Dean Burke, R-Bainbridge, vice chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and a physician
Sen. Gloria Butler, D-Stone Mountain, member of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee
Sen. Jack Hill, R-Reidsville, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee
Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick, R-Marietta, chairwoman of the Senate Ethics Committee and a physician
Sen. Ben Watson, R-Savannah, chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and a physician
Ryan Loke, special projects coordinator, Office of the Governor
Barbara Barrett, director of human resources and benefits, Langdale Industries Inc.
Lance Boles, CEO and pharmacist of Hartwell Drugs
Jon Duke, director of health informatics, Georgia Tech, and a physician
Gregory Esper, associate chief medical officer and physician, Emory Healthcare
Clark Howard, consumer advocate
Toni P. Miles, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, and a physician, University of Georgia
Debra Stokes, executive director, Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center at Mercer University
Carie Summers, CFO and senior vice president, Georgia Hospital Association
Jesse Weathington, Georgia director, Total Spectrum, an advocate for insurance companies
Sept. 5, State Capitol, Room 450
Oct. 9, location TBA
Nov. 5, location TBA
All meetings will be streamed by the Senate Press Office. Additionally, according to his office, Duncan will accept questions and moderate the discussion using Facebook Live.
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