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Mornings unPHILtered - Insurance hopefuls say theyll control costs
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    Tuesday's first guest on the “Mornings unPHILtered” show was State Sen. Seth Harp, one of nine Republican candidates running for Georgia's Commissioner of Insurance.
    When asked by host Phil Boyum why he is running, he said he saw a need once John Oxendine announced he was running for governor.
    Harp believes that he has accomplished all he could in the Georgia Legislature. He was a member of the Government Oversight committee, which included the budgeting process of the insurance commissioner.
    The office of Insurance Commissioners does more than handle insurance matters, Harp said, including overseeing the departments of Fire Marshal, Fraud Office and the Comptroller General's Office.
    Boyum asked Harp about administrative costs and overhead in the medical industry that are passed on to clients. He responded that the Legislature has the ability to step in and control some of the inflationary costs in the industry.
    One of the ways to reduce this overhead is through the use of switching to paperless digital recording and archiving of all medical paperwork and documents, he said. Not only is it more efficient, but all the patients' information is immediately accessible.
    Harp said he and his Bulloch County supporters are planning an event in Bulloch County in the near future. His friends Tommy David, Jimmy Franklin and Johnny Parrish are helping to set up the event, he said.
    Boyum next welcomed another Republican candidate running for insurance commissioner — Maria Sheffield.
    Sheffield said she was running because the Commissioner has many duties and affects so many different facets of every Georgian's life. Sheffield said the next Commissioner must be ready to hit the ground running, and said that she is the person to do it.
    Raised in Ivey in Wilkinson County, just outside of Macon, she worked with the Department of Insurance for some six years. In fact, Sheffield said, she is the only candidate running for the office to have done so. She left there and became an attorney specializing in insurance regulatory compliance law, and has handled cases involving insurance companies all across the nation.
    Asked about the overhead and administrative costs in doctors' offices, Sheffield said the biggest problems stem from Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, which require federal regulation in order to streamline them.
    Another major cause of all this excessive paperwork is caused by all of the legal requirements of the billing contracts between doctors, insurance companies, and the hospitals.
    Concerning the recently passed Federal health care bill, Sheffield said the additional regulations for implementation of the bill would create some 159 new agencies in order to administer, maintain and oversee the Federal Health Care Act. She said she would be supportive of the state's challenge the legality of the health care bill.
    She mentioned she was very pleased to have attended the Republican “Meet and Greet” Friday at Statesboro High, and then she saw her niece graduate from Georgia Southern University on Saturday.
    
    “Mornings unPHILtered” airs live Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on statesboroherald.com and also simulcast on WWNS-AM 1240 on the radio. You also can listen anytime at BoroLive.com on statesboroherald.com