Our Issues

Georgia Watch serves as a powerful statewide advocate for Georgians and a trusted resource for the public, the media, legislators, and regulators. We work to give Georgians a fair shake on critical consumer issues, such as fair utility rates, cleaner energy options, access to safe and affordable healthcare, safeguarding personal finances, and access to civil justice.

Through our Consumer Energy Program (CEP), we advocate on behalf of Georgia’s residential and small business customers in energy-related matters before Georgia’s Public Service Commission (PSC) and at the state capitol. In this role, we stand up for lower utility rates and cleaner, more efficient energy solutions. CEP provides a much-needed voice for consumers in Georgia. Georgia Watch is a member of the National Association of Utility Consumer Advocates.

Through our Health Access Program (HAP), we seek to ensure and expand access to safe and affordable healthcare for all Georgians through consumer empowerment, policy development, and advocacy. HAP focuses its efforts primarily on vulnerable Georgians whose healthcare needs are often neglected, such as senior citizens, low-income individuals, and the uninsured. Through this consumer-centered mission, we work to educate all Georgians on important healthcare issues, and we promote consumer-friendly healthcare policies at the various levels of government and business where such policies are made.

Through our Personal Finance Program (PFP), we provide education and advancement for Georgia consumers on issues that impact their wallets and quality of life, including identity theft, home foreclosure and predatory lending. Through a grassroots-centered approach, we educate consumers on their financial options, the importance of credit ratings, and effective ways to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft and fraud.

June 9, 2014 – Georgia Watch today released its sixth Court Watch Report analyzing consumer-related decisions issued by the Supreme Court of Georgia. Court Watch is a program of Georgia Watch, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization committed to strengthening the rights of consumers. Court Watch aims to publicize important consumer-related decisions by the Supreme Court of Georgia and Georgia Court of Appeals.

This year’s Court Watch Report serves two main goals: 1) informing the public of recent decisions affecting consumer law and 2) providing a preview of upcoming consumer law cases in the Georgia Supreme Court. Unlike previous Court Watch Reports, the 2013 Report contains cases still pending before the Supreme Court of Georgia. The Report also includes a select few cases that were decided in 2012 due to their significance and the fact that a 2012 Court Watch Report was not issued. Click here to read the report.

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September 21, 2012 – Georgia Watch submitted comments to the Internal Revenue Service today on proposed regulations for non-profit hospitals on their financial assistance policies. These regulations are being written in accordance with provisions of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The IRS issued a notice of proposed rule-making (NPRM) on June 21, 2012, requesting comments. A full copy of the comments can be found here.

“Georgia Watch wants to make sure consumers are given a voice in a process that appears to be dominated by the interests of hospitals,” remarked Elena Parent, executive director of consumer advocacy organization Georgia Watch.

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September 13, 2012 – A report released by the U.S. Census Bureau earlier this week showed that the number of uninsured Americans dropped for the first time in three years. From 2010 to 2011, nearly 1.3 million people gained insurance coverage. This is especially remarkable given the weakness of the American economy, when it could otherwise be expected that the percentage of Americans insured would drop due to fewer people receiving coverage through employment. According to the Washington Post (read the full story here), almost 40% of this increase in coverage can be attributed to the provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that allows adult children to remain on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26.

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