The nonprofit Georgians for a Healthy Future said it will provide health care policy and advocacy information to the public, state legislature and media. However, the group's executive director said citizens should not expect the group to take a position on government-sponsored health insurance.
"We were formed independent of the national debate," Cindy Zeldin said. "This came out of experiences that advocates here in Georgia had on the state level. And they thought there was a gap. It could be fortuitous or not fortuitous that we're coming out in the middle of this debate."
Smyrna City Councilwoman Teri Anulewicz, who has been assisting GHF in gaining visibility, said Cobb and the rest of the state can benefit from the work the organization will be doing.
"Georgians for a Healthy Future could be a resource for groups like Must Ministries, YWCA of Northwest Georgia or United Way as they're trying to figure out how to help their constituency navigate what's going on with health care and access to it in Georgia," she said.
According to GHF's policy center, more than 1.6 million Georgians, or 18 percent of the state's population, are uninsured. Zeldin said GHF will work to ensure that those eligible for existing programs, such as Peachcare for Kids and Medicaid, are enrolled. And she said it will work for increased access to primary care and improving health care quality.
In addition, Zeldin said GHF seeks to be a resource for lawmakers, policymakers, and the media in Georgia as they make and report health care decisions. Its nine-member board of directors represent a cross-section of health care policy and advocacy organizations, including AARP Georgia, Voices for Georgia's Children, Georgia Rural Health Association, and the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities.
For more information on Georgians for a Healthy Future, visit www.healthy futurega.org.