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Study: Those with health care pay for those without
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Preliminary findings of a strategic health plan study for Liberty, Long, Bryan and Tattnall counties warn that residents with private health insurance will carry the uninsured at a 2-to-1 ratio.
PDA Health Planning Management Services President Nancy Lane presented the finding July 24 during a Fort Stewart Growth Management Partnership meeting in which local leaders engaged in dialogue about health-industry challenges and how to work toward a solution.
“No, we don’t know everything about Obamacare, but we can show you some things that do seriously affect the way your health-care delivery system is working,” Lane told the group.  
The $75,000 study came about after the FSGMP Regional Growth Plan identified health among the area’s needs, FSGMP Director Jeff Ricketson said. The group received federal funding for the study.  
“The Fort Stewart/HAAF Regional Growth Plan concluded that, due to the military employment growth at Fort Stewart during 2007 to 2011, the overall health-care infrastructure of the region is not adequate to provide services to a national standard for the existing population,” a scope of the work states. “The growth in the military population has placed a strain on the regional health-care system that was already overburdened.”
Demographics research and projections indicate the four-county area likely will have a population around 173,000, but the percentage of those who are on military or Veterans Affairs health care is projected to decrease from 53 percent in 2010 to 41 percent in 2030.
When TRICARE, VA and Reidsville patients are removed from the numbers, 47,415 residents are projected to have health insurance, while 22,035 are not — and the burden of the uninsured ends up being carried through higher insurance costs and taxes, Lane said.

Read more in the Aug. 4 edition of the News.

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