Eric Johnson Speaks

Between the birthday, traveling, and recent duplications of the pea soup scene from the Exorcist, I haven’t had a chance to write anything on Eric Johnson’s recent speech to the Georgia Public Policy Foundation — a group I’d like to know more about.

In his speech, Senator Johnson really showed why the Senate represented the conservatives in the General Assembly and laid out a vision for future conservative reforms. In essence, Senator Johnson picked up the mantle of the free market as a useful tool to decrease government bureaucracy and increase government efficiencies in programs from health care to economic development.

One interesting bit of his speech considered education. He says, “We need to realize that School Boards are relevant and cannot be ignored. We support local control, but get concerned at what appears too often as a dysfunctional family. We should increase training and consider a bonus structure for performance. At the same time, we should look at empowering School Councils if the Boards fail.

5 comments

  1. Decaturguy says:

    I particularly liked the fact that he wants to prohibit poor people from getting emergency room care.

  2. Bull Moose says:

    I read a little about this in one of the other posts… There are some things I agree with Johnson on and there are areas that I do not agree. I will give you this though, he did clearly articulate an agenda for the coming session, which is something I think you’ll see the Governor do too as the campaign wages forward.

    I do not think that the answer to health care though is closing off the emergency room. We need to improve and expand upon primary health care providers and lower the barriers to those who do not use primary care providers, yes, but I don’t think it’s possible to “ban” people from the emergency rooms, especially the poor and those most in need. Perhaps hospitals can better screen who is seen at the emergency room and refer those with non-life threatening illnesses to a primary care physician or to a quick treatment facility that is not as costly or cumbersome as the emergency room.

    Eric made good points on education and I hope that others will heed his words.

  3. Senator Eric Johnson says:

    Read the speech, not the blogs. I am not suggesting to “ban” people from ERs. I did not say we should “prohibit poor people from getting emergency care”.

    Folks, they are EMERGENCY ROOMS! They are not free health clinics. Talk to a hospital administrator. The Top 10 treatment given in ERs are NOT for emergencies. They are for colds, headaches, fever, loose sutures, etc. No wonder trauma care is dwindling in Georgia. Who can afford to treat people at the MOST expensive place possible.

    Federal law REQUIRES hospitals to treat anybody who walks in the door – even if they are there because the appointment for their doctor conflicted with their job. Hospitals cannot even offer aspirin and an appointment for the clinic across the street in the morning.

    Georgia’s Medicaid system is one of the best in the country. There are free clinics and places where people can go to talk to a regular doctor. But, like the rest of us, they might need to make an appointment and take off from work.

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