On Wednesday, members of Heritage’s health care team traveled to Atlanta, Ga., to meet with Gov. Brian P. Kemp, the governor’s health policy specialist Ryan Loke, and Regina Quick, special counsel to Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan.

These meetings were coordinated with the help of Heritage ally and president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Kyle Wingfield.

Gov. Kemp presented our team with his overall vision for health care reform in Georgia, and learned about Heritage’s involvement in the formulation and promotion of the Health Care Choices Proposal. His goal is to make Georgia “the gold standard” when it comes to real health care reform that works.

Heritage health care experts Marie Fishpaw and Nina Schaefer offered innovative ideas that could be included in the broad reforms that Gov. Kemp is exploring. The Health Care Choices Proposal would give governors like Kemp the flexibility to create their own state-level health care systems, which would offer greater choices, higher quality of goods and services, and all at lower costs to consumers.

Fishpaw and Schaefer also met with Andre Jackson, editorial page editor for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, to promote the Health Care Choices Proposal, which is one of Heritage’s primary strategic issues this year.

“I am encouraged that Gov. Kemp is thinking big and pursuing reforms to increase choice and lower the cost of health care for Georgians. His approach is the kind of innovation we would like to see sweep the country,” said Fishpaw. “The Health Care Choices Proposal would better encourage this type of innovation.”

Read more about the right way to overhaul the health care system.

Watch: America’s Biggest Issues: Health Care

Do you think the states should lead the way in crafting health care reform  alternatives to Obamacare, or should they wait for the federal government to act?

Comments (75)

Nadine Bryan - June 14, 2019

The separate states should work out theirr own heath plans. The less the federal government is involved in nearly any problem, the more likely that a workable solution will be found. This would also free the federal government to focus on its main task, defending our nation.Nadine Bryan

Cal Taylor - June 14, 2019

States should definitely lead the way. The federal government has never been able to lead in any endeavor. Put the consumer-vote back in charge of policy and spending.

Paul Anderson - June 14, 2019

Feds are too busy bashing Trump to fix healthcare or much od anything..

Ronald Young - June 14, 2019

I agree. The federal government should relinquish control of health care back to the states. The government continues to display it’s inept handling of anything of significance.

Neil - June 14, 2019

One of the original ideas of the Founding Fathers of our nation was to allow each state to create their own laws so that each could experiment with new ideas to find out which ones work best. Keep the Federal Government out of these decisions as much as possible. I am all for Georgia or any other state trying something new.

Beverly White - June 14, 2019

Health care should be between the Dr. and the patient. Single payer insurance leads to rationing.

Jon Sollars - June 14, 2019

First we must put the natural cures in place and eliminate the FDA the same time the government turns healthcare back to the states.

Trudy Slater - June 14, 2019

The individual states should craft their own unique health care approaches to healthcare policy that the voting citizens they represent request. Consumerism works without pork barrel waste.

Alita Arnold - June 14, 2019

In my 74 yr old opinion, keep Government out of Healthcare. Each of our STATES has unique and different individual’s needs.
Each State should address their own HEALTHCARE issues, with the ability to go across State lines. Just like we can get Auto Insurance across State lines.
Get Government out !!!

Herbert Swett - June 14, 2019

The states should lead.

Kathleen Parr - June 14, 2019

One of My Doctors just passed away 2 days ago…I was sad now I have to look for a new one…The States should definitely direct the way…Healthcare isn’t easy …especially in these times…If it was Me, I would look through all files of the 1980’s…compare with the updated files…baby steps…even the Physicians files …Medicaid will have to kick in and that goes by county…My beef with Healthcare what are the Doctors going to do it is costly for them…We need real Doctors we need better Doctors hours Night hours so people who work need evening hours…this is a scattered suggestion because its so complicated…Chiropractors need help with costs I do Hope We have a great plan for America First…I worry more about the filth in California flies and mosquitos that are carrying disease will hitch a ride East and wipe out a lot of people…I am sure we will have to isolate animals to …I am not Happy with Pelosi and Schumer …Congress for Refusing to Keep America Healthy …
Cleveland Clinic has the Lucy Health System…Our Physicians and Our Border Patrol cannot afford to become ill…I ask you Nancy Pelosi who made the Zika Virus…
I Stand With My President Trump!

William Coates - June 14, 2019

Health concerns vary from state to state, as do demographics. The states should lead the way, keep things employer-friendly, and permit insurers to work across st,ate lines. They should avoid the overhead of setting up state insurance plans with their own claims processing bureaucracy, and work to get transparency in hospital service pricing. The government-imposed overhead costs can be reduced. Some way must be found to get tort lawyers out of the system.

George Carmona - June 14, 2019

By all means, allow the states to create health plans for their people. The record of the Federal Government is more a bit suspect.

Francis Grant - June 14, 2019

By all means the states should proceed on their own and in concert with their sister states. Nothing can be worst than letting the Feds take off on their own as they will almost certainly produce another disaster like the Obama care fiasco.

Doris Y Jones - June 14, 2019

I think the Governor’s could, would and should take the lead in developing a healthcare plan to replace Obamacare. I have very little faith in the federal government to rise above their petty goals and understand our diverse people or meet their medical needs.

Robert Schloesser,PhD - June 14, 2019

It is up to the states! Our hot air congress is useless. Unfortunately, when it was in Republican hands it didn’t get much done either. Bottom line is that Washington has no real interest in the nations legal citizens!

C. Lawrence Clark DDS - June 14, 2019

Choice is very important. One plan for all -one size fits all, just won’t work long term. England and Canada tried and now they are finding it important to offer private plans as well. Innovation is stifled with only a government plan. Let the plans span over state boundaries. Let the patient pick his menu. If I dont want maternity coverage, it shouldnt be mandated. And the same with addiction & mental health coverage. Doctors and Doctor Groups should be allowed to contract directly with patients for routine care. Pick your deductible, Insurance pool for preexisting uninsurables just like auto insurance. Portability should be encouraged to eventually allow people to have their OWN policies just like their car insurance. Allow generous tax deductions for health insurance for individuals that would phase out employer deductibility and move towards individual ownership of personal health insurance. Alternative care (nutritional and eastern medicine) offers better solutions in many cases. Stop the corruption at the FDA and encourage new innovation without payoffs.

Eugene Haberstock - June 14, 2019

States should lead the way because Congress is not doing anything about getting rid of Obamacare.

Edgar Harrell - June 14, 2019

Yes;The system is broken, the providers are the only beneficiary and they too can care less.Thanks for coming to the rescue.
Semper Fi.
Sgt. Edgar Harrell -USMC Survivor USS Indianapolis WW2 largest loss of life of any WW2 encounters.

DON FOLLMER - June 14, 2019

States are the logical source for health reform.

Maria T Wade - June 14, 2019

I definitely agree with non-participation by the federal government. They have shown us that they don’t know how to make this work for the people. I would love to see Healthcare being handle on the State Level. However, I worry about States like California, New York, Colorado, Oregon, Washington State, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, etc. who are run by Democrats. I fear they would try to move money from Healthcare to some other wasteful project for their own gain. What do others think? What does Heritage think?

Nancy Cheski - June 14, 2019

Someone has to move on this. Congress is hobbled by spiteful politics. Let the states give it a go.

Henry Saltsman - June 14, 2019

I am of the school that healthcare is NEVER the responsibility of the Federal government. Their primary responsibility is to “protect and defend” and work in unity on behalf of America. Like education, healthcare is a State issue. Let the states formulate what they believe is the proper fit for their citizens..

linda dilger - June 14, 2019

Lead the way states. The Federal government won’t do a better job. Count on it

Ray Holland - June 14, 2019

Absolutely, states should lead the way in health care reform, followed up by acknowledgement by the fed’s that it’s the American people’s choice to choose their health care plan, company and doctors.

Lars Hill - June 14, 2019

Let the states take the lead. The Federal Government is not capable of that.

Deborah Rice - June 14, 2019

This proposal is so encouraging and seems workable!

Phyllis Eix - June 14, 2019

Health insurance should be accessible , affordable, and portable, and optional. The sates, rather than the federal government, should decide on the plans offered, and across state lines should be considered.

Sharon Anne Rhoads - June 14, 2019

Well i would hate to think of my health care in the hands of the California policy makers. They are so evil and are putting bills on the floor that are filled with very very bad stuff. Otherwise i would be for states rights but our state is nuts.

Piet Van de Mark - June 14, 2019

States must lead. Health issues vary by region. Supply & demand, when left to it’s own way, is best; another writer suggested health insurance should be much like auto insurance, a simple old fashioned American concept!

Speaking of Federal responsibility in healthcare, the Constitution suggests the Fed. Govt has the responsibility to protect us…might they want to secure our southern border against the current large Ebola outbreak (1400 dead!) in the Congo with hundreds of illegals entering the U.S. from the Democratic Republic of the Congo right now? Prevention!

Angela Hull - June 14, 2019

Yes, states should have the freedom to come up with their own plans for reform. But what is considered “standard of care” in medicine needs reform as well. There are many alternative treatments outside of conventional medicine which effectively work to heal people around the world. All patients should have access to these alternative choices with insurance coverage of these services. The state’s medical board needs to approve effective alternative care treatments. These alternative treatments are often called integrative or functional medicine. They generally include diagnostic lab testing and nutritional supplements to support treatments which are much less costly than pharmaceutical drugs, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, etc. All of these alternative pathways to healing should be included in the broader overhaul picture of medical reform.

Arthur Meadows - June 14, 2019

State governments have to be brought on board and convinced that it is to their constituents absolute benefit that finally the states come together to craft a solution for individual health care, free from federal meddling.

Mark Zanghetti - June 14, 2019

This Congress is log jammed due to the Democrats holding the House and wanting to keep the President from any kind of legislative victory. The States will have to lead the way and might actually do something in a different way than Congress would have that may turn out to be better!

william shelley - June 14, 2019

If we wait for congress, nothing good will ever happen.

Tamila Griffeth - June 14, 2019

The states should definitely lead the way. Who knows how long it would be before the federal government finally makes the changes in Obama Care. Each state should address their own individual and unique healthcare needs.

Mary Slater - June 15, 2019

Yes. Do not wait on the government. Seems they can’t or won’t accomplish anything. Besides, different parts of the country have different health care needs.

Don Johnson - June 15, 2019

Our leaders,representatives were not sent to become Dictators. Were entitled to the choices and freedoms established by our constitution.

Carole Scott - June 15, 2019

Would we be better off if every individual product and service provided by private businesses was provided by only one company? Different state government plans provide the benefit competition provides in the private sector. A state whose plan works poorly will have to abandon it for one. in another state that works better.

Laura Sterner - June 15, 2019

Yes, the States should lead the way to reform healthcare. They can move more quickly than the Federal Government.

Mary Anne Westphal - June 15, 2019

States should do all they can to get health care in to the hands of Doctors and patients. But Voters must continue to get Obamacare repealed and get Federal govn’t to allow Insurance competition across state lines. Some Federal regulation will be needed to keep Pharmaceutical Co. from lobbing for their own agendas.

Thomas A Schindler - June 15, 2019

Cant wait on Federal to address this, from past experiences of their tomfoolery bungling wherever they get involved. States should decide their own system.

Linda Carpenter - June 15, 2019

I think it’s great what Governor Kemp is doing for Georgia. I hope other governors will follow his lead.
The government is going too too far from the best solutions.

Jay Walsh - June 15, 2019

Yes, the stTes should lead the way on health care and on all but a few national items (defense).

catherine simicich - June 15, 2019

If you live in a state that would look out for your people’s health care then you can do it. If you live in a state like I do in New York that gives everything away no dice.

Barbara Sbrogna - June 15, 2019

Sorry, I support nearly all Heritage proposals for various reforms but I vehemently disagree with this one. NO level of government should be setting up their own systems simply because politics and special interests get way too much input that results in people being forced to pay for services they don’t need or want.

The only way health care costs will be reduced is when it’s entirely back where it belongs, in the “dreaded” competitive private sector. Providers and insurance companies can work together and innovate to develop plans that truly provided choices for people.

I worked in the insurance industry for over 30 years and saw incredible innovations that were, in fact, resulting in reductions. And still, up to 8% of premium costs were a direct result of state & federal mandates, some of which had little connection to actual “health” care. Then Obamacare came along & it all stopped in its tracks. Instead, insurance companies had to figure out how to reduce the premiums and that resulted in unaffordable deductibles that ended up hurting people more.

It is truly frustrating to see government and places like Heritage twisting themselves into pretzels to keep government control over one of the most important products WE must purchase. Government, at any level, never, ever institutes efficiencies.

This doesn’t mean there should not be some government oversight to protect people from harmful acts by insurance companies. That’s a different matter entirely.

William Ditz - June 15, 2019

The states have a much greater chance and likelihood of securing workable health care legislation. State Policy Network and Heritage together should be able to push this effort to a successful outcome.

Dee J - June 15, 2019

This plan sounds more interesting than all the others I have read about. We need to insure those who cannot afford to buy a plan themselves including seniors and children. Some seniors only get a SS check for 600 a month. What can they buy for that? food, housing, clothing, meds, medical????? not too much. Having a plan from work is a benefit to that employment. We share in the expense of the plan. In the older days all employers supplied health plans. Each state could address the health concerns that happen there. In the NE we have chemicals all over the place we had 9/11 survivors, we get smog from all the other states; air travels WEST to East. But that could raise all the prices out here. Again we can get screwed badly.

Patricia Ewers - June 15, 2019

Let the States craft their own health care plan. The best will then be duplicated by the other States.

Frederick Meyer - June 15, 2019

Keep the Federal Government out of the Healthcare Business. Let each state decide on what would be best that meets the citizens request. The citizens should be able to shop for their Healthcare Insurance and need to go across state lines to get the best deal.

Dennis Elhard - June 15, 2019

Remove the Federal Government out of Health Care. Health Insurance was and is the solution.

David A. Ayres - June 15, 2019

By all means the States should be a leading factor in getting something done regarding Health Care! Congress is doing nothing as it relates to HC or anything else to help the Public. They are standing in the way for any type of progress!!!

ROBERT L. JACOBSEN - June 15, 2019

The states should definitely lead. States are more adept at identifying health care needs and solutions. The federal government with its present liberal House would screw it up. Something like Medicare for All.

John Olofson - June 15, 2019

States should show the way.
Tort reform is getting short shrift.
Interstate competition is vitally important.

LLOYD HODGE - June 15, 2019


Barbara King - June 15, 2019

I definitely believe the individual states should be setting up their own health care systems. That just makes better sense than the Federal Govt telling the states what to do.

Chas Whit - June 15, 2019

90% Fed projects fail vs private.
… Why we are still invaded by leeches.
Still no effective laws to protect children from abusers, mostly parents & peers
… and now big Pharma toxic drugs.
(see online Psychiatric Drugs as Agents of Trauma)
States are finally showing medical cannabis for PTSD, etc. as trials.
Stacy Abrams wanted to make Ga a sanctuary state with medicare for all !

Go Kemp !
Go Trump !

Hettie Nations - June 15, 2019

I think the states should create their own health care approaches. There is to much government involved and nothing gets done. The states are aware of health needs more than the Gov.

George’s Hughes - June 15, 2019

States need to control it is there right and duty.

JoAnn Ison - June 15, 2019

The states should do it because the federal government won’t.

Gail Parks - June 15, 2019

More power to states who will go ahead and craft their own health-care plans AND
the financial support of that system. As we find out what works best, it hopefully will encourage all of the states to take control of this MOST IMPORTANT health care issue!

Schwartz Robert - June 15, 2019

States. No question. What have the Feds ever done well?

Chris Milord - June 16, 2019

The states ought to have the right to set up their own health care exchanges, but the best way for folks to get affordable healthcare is through competitive free market forces. People could choose to purchase their own plans or they could sign up to plans offered by their employers. The Feds have no business running health services as evidenced by the incompetence of the Medicare bureaucracy.

Barbara Whitfield RT - June 16, 2019

Listening to Our Symptoms

Please see The ACE Study (Adverse Childhood Experiences) from the CDC or the Writings of Charles Whitfield MD and Barbara Harris Whitfield RT

Psycho-neuro-endocrinology (PNE) is a field that studies how emotions and behavior interact with hormones and the nervous system. A related discipline adds immunology as psycho-neuro-immunology (PNI) to address the interaction among psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems.

When we combine these with what we have learned from some 120 years of experience in psychodynamic and trauma psychology we can begin to understand how recognizing and addressing unresolved issues can help us to a deeper healing. This understanding shows that underneath common chronic illnesses, there are unconscious trauma effects or wounding that may not be causing the disease or disorder directly, but have weakened our body systems so that wherever we are most vulnerable becomes “out of balance” or “diseased” and makes us potentially “sick.”

In other words, when we are often stressed and some of this is coming from unresolved issues with buried emotions, this wears down our immune and other bodily functions. The weakest link in our organs then starts to break down. By treating this weak organ or system, we may be able to resolve or at least medicate the chronic problem (the drug for every symptom paradigm).

However, if we don’t do some deeper exploration, there might continue to be one health problem after another. We may benefit from going deeper to find the underlying stressors that weaken our body so we can allow these stressors to become conscious and come into a natural balance where our body, mind and spirit can thrive. (the holistic paradigm).

Each one of us is more than a human being. We are each a focal point of consciousness that is becoming conscious of itself. MM helps us if we sit and allow it to show us a more expanded way of seeing.

Dan Gassen - June 16, 2019

States must be the leaders. I never understood why they continue to allow the Feds to constantly violate the Tenth Amendment without a fight.

Wade Michael Williams - June 16, 2019

I have always believed that Mitt Romney had the right idea about healthcare when he was Governor. I believe the reason that healthcare worked in Europe was due to the size of the population, not because of the programs.
Our country is too big and too diverse for healthcare to be run on the federal level. The state and county governments know what is best for their demographics so they can best decide, with proper representation, what should be done about healthcare in their areas.
I look forward to seeing more states step forward and let the Congress know that the only help they need from them is assurance that their constituents will be able to travel across our fifty states with the insurance that they have, without hindrance or denial.
Thank you for providing this information to the governors and local legislators. Keep informing our citizens of our founders intentions.

Carl Smith - June 16, 2019

You have to ask yourself a simple question, Does it make sense to send $$ to D.C. so they can siphon off 40% for a Bureaucracy to distribute $$ BACK to the taxpayers to push a One Size Fits All INSURANCE program? People Must STOP conflating Insurance with Health CARE. State experiments have already shown that UNIVERSAL does NOT Work, so now we know what NOT to try.

Shirley M. Gratto - June 16, 2019

Each State should come up with a plan that will serve the majority of that State. The Federal Govt is too far removed from the needs of the people in the each State.

J Man - June 16, 2019

Keeps feds in the belt way..
I love the bind yhe feds are in. GETTING nothing past is helping out states.

Delcia Chisolm - June 17, 2019

We the people in order to form a more perfect union…promote the general welfare. In so doing it seems most plausible that the states would be much more capable of finding a solution that works for their citizens. The federal bureaucracy is so far removed and corrupt that they create more problems instead of solutions. We the people ought also to press these employees of ours to do their job or do what is the logical thing give them a job looking for another.

Susan - June 17, 2019

I absolutely think the states should lead in health care. Maybe the feds will see progress and get the idea of how to help it happen.

JIM EGGLESTON - June 17, 2019

We need to lead the way
and yes the tariffs on Mexico would also cost us but not like letting the hoards to continue comming.

Betty Chapman - June 18, 2019

States should definitely not wait on the government, but lead the way and show our Congress how it can be done.

Ann Hilburn - June 19, 2019

If I understand our constitution correctly, the federal government has no business in health care; that is a states issue. I definitely feel that the states need to step up in this issue. One of the things that disturb me greatly is that we keep focusing on sickness care; not health care.

rose rodano - June 21, 2019

Thank you for inviting me to Comment.
My feelings a strong,and without hesitation
I would certainly put this important decision in the hands of the people : for they are well aware of their needs and how to attain them
I am humbled that you think so highly of me.God bless these United States of America.

Shirley Farmer - June 24, 2019

Since the Federal levels are can’t seem to get anything done on this issue maybe the states can

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