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Is Gov. Deal Right to Refuse to Create State Health Exchange?

Georgia's Governor cites unknown costs, lack of flexibility in federal regulations.

Gov. Nathan Deal told the Obama administration this week that Georgia will not set up its own health care exchange, citing the administration's "one-size fits all" approach and the high cost that the law places on states.

“I remain committed to common sense health care solutions that empower consumers to take responsibility for their own health, motivate the private sector and drive efficiencies for consumers, employers and governments alike,” Deal said in a press release. “I continue to hope that we might finally engage in a serious conversation about restoring meaningful flexibility to states around health care programs.”

Deal said the federal government needs to loosen regulations that restrict states’ options. He said he would support a "free market-based approach that could serve as a useful tool for Georgia’s small businesses, but federal guidelines forbid that."

Senate Democrats in Georgia already have criticized Deal's decision.

"It is unfortunate that the Governor has chosen to put politics over the needs of Georgians. He has ignored his own blue ribbon panel's recommendation to include state health care exchanges," said Sen. Vincent Fort, whip of the Senate Democratic Caucus.

Deal's characterization of the health care exchanges as a one-size-fits-all contradicts the reality that we are sacrificing any impact the state of Georgia may have in how our exchange is set up, Fort said in a news release sent by the Senate Democratic Caucus.

"Regardless of his decision not to set up the exchanges, we urge him to proceed with the expansion of Medicaid so thousands more Georgians can have access to health care, including children and families caring for aging parents," Fort said.

What do you think about the governor's decision? Tell us in the comments!

Greg November 18, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Bottom line is that the new Obamacare will put millions of new people on the backs of taxpayers to pay for this. And companies, big and small, will opt out of their insurance benefits for employees because of the regulations being put on them and in turn these employees will be dumped into the new Health Care roles. Not good when the Federal Government thinks they can do a better job than the private and/or the local sectors. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/07/obamacare-impact-on-states
Albert November 18, 2012 at 02:28 PM
We've been waiting on the private sector to do something for 60 years... The cost have been going up and up... These are our veterans family and kids that have not had access to health care. Our veterans can go pay the ultimate tax oversees to protect business interest and now the business can pay a little bit more to make america better for our people. Remember they got our back and we best to have there's. We are all in this together.
Michael Evans November 18, 2012 at 03:46 PM
What amazes me is the cheap corporations looking out for their bonuses are announcing right and left they are cutting hours the first of the year to 28. Even though they pay nothing into Obamacare till Jan 1, 2014. Got to protect those profits and bonuses. Federal government is going to have to put some teeth into this thing.
Gary Huggins November 18, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I speak from experience. The federal government CANNOT ever do an efficient operation as good as the private sector. Everything the federal government undertakes ALWAYS balloons into a permanent addition at any taxpayers expense. The best government is the one that governs least. Anyone that thinks otherwise has been fooled or is totally uninformed. If one likes government controlled anything or everything needs to move to Europe, Cuba or some other Socialist country. Sooner or later takers of the system lose money to take because there are no more coffers to dig into. At 65 , I've seen and listened to elders and young . Believe me , no system run by the Federal government can even begin to be as efficient as private enterprise. Corruption and thievery are rampant in most all federal system branches. Why don't Congress critters live under the same laws as constituents ? If at all possible, avoid Federal interference in your life.
Gary Huggins November 18, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Most of citizens don't understand fully the raw power passed in the Obamacare law. If it's so wonderful, why don't Congressmen and women representatives participate????? Never trust a politician. Most I've known are masters of deceit and change convictions for maximum benefit of he/she. At this point, We have the best form of government available, we're headed into new territory when appointees and committees who know nothing about healthcare declare what is best to keep us well. Think hard and long because sooner or later you'll be faced with cost vs. age will determine if you live. If anyone is able to tell me why tax rates never go down and never end, I'll be very patient to listen. glh
Christopher Jones November 18, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Michael Evans - and here you thought all this time that the sole purpose for the existence of prinate enterprises was to employ people, even at a loss, if deemed necessary by you and the federal government. And you think that they don't pay into Obamacare even though they will have to pay the costs of setting up their programs well ahead of full implementation in 2014. I'm sure that you've never signed the FRONT of a payroll check. Wasn't the point of the so-called "Affordable Health Care Act" to make health care AFFORABLE, and not just pass the costs on to someone else, or disguise the increased costs as taxes? Instead of streamlining the delivery of health care and lowering its costs, we have added MORE expense into the mix. Even though this bill was passed, it's FAR from a done deal. We're not giving up the fight to replace it with a SANE, feasible alternative that will make AFFORDABLE, high-quality care available to ALL citizens of the U.S. Get over it.
Greg November 18, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Albert, The cost of healthcare has been going up and up because of government regulations and sue happy lawyers. Soon a bunch of these Doctors will throw up their hands and say "I give up", and then what will we do? What we have is certainly not perfect and needs some work. Get the government out of Healthcare ! ! ! ! People who don't have healthcare now still can go to doctors and hospitals for free. I see it all the time. I believe the Veterans do have access to healthcare, it's call the Veterans Administration. And who runs that? The Federal Govt.
Duncan November 18, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Gary, "Why don't Congress critters live under the same laws as constituents ? " A great many people have wondered that for some time..., many years as a matter of fact. The answer, of course, is that congress regulates itself and determines its own working conditions and benefits.
Greg November 18, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Chris and Gary, you have it right. We can't please everyone and it changes are made there will be some that like it because it helps them and others that will not like it because it affects them. I understand that but something has to be done about the runaway politicians we have on BOTH aisles.
Greg November 18, 2012 at 05:45 PM
I believe that we need to turn over the House and Senate each election, vote them out in the primary's. The Pelosi's, Biden's, McCain's, Reid's, Chambliss's should all know that they are there for 1 term and to work for the people. They make the office a career and it should not be that way. And then they make their deals and get away with whatever they want to.
Albert November 18, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Greg, Someone had to shake up the system and wake everyone up. To many people where going bankrupt over health care. The problem with the system in its current state is that the tax payers are paying for the "takers" on the backend at a higher rate. If a "taker" goes to the emergency room and can pay for their services who pays for that? The "makers" do at a higher rate. The good thing about obama care is that it tries to solve this problem on the front end. The good thing about obama care it has awaking the people that didn't care enough to find a solution to this 60 year problem to take action now to find a better solution. It's all good in the end....
Albert November 18, 2012 at 06:01 PM
The one thing goverment is good at is focusing the Amarican people attention on a problem that needs solving. Health Care, Jobs, and we need to get the hell of foriegn oil. Are we focused now??? Let solve these problems and move Foward...
Albert November 18, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Gary, If the private sector could do such a good job at regulating it self we would need regulations. If you go to the grocery store if private citzens did such a good job at parking ourself we wouldn't need parking lines. When we go to the football game if the teams did such a good job at regulating themselves they wouldn't need the refs on the field or the tax payers help in building the dome. When Sandy came to town, if the private sector does such a great job we wouldn't have need the first responder and governer christie kissing up to president obama. every thing is not perfect. we all need to find our way back to the middle and stop being such extreme drama queens...
Greg November 18, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Albert, that is very shallow thinking. Of course rules and some regulations are needed, it is the nature of people if they can get away with something, they will try. It is the over regulating that creates problems, more obstacles, and drives up the cost of everything. I imagine you could be a person that works in Government in some sort of way. Remember, government whether it is national, state, local, schools do not make any of their own money, they just take from the taxpayers.
Albert November 18, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Gary, There is shallowness on both side. The solution is in the center. Let's work back to the center of this issue. That's the only way the people are going to hear the truth. I'm very conservitive in many ways, but I'm also very practical in my thinking..
Albert November 18, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Both sides have shallow thinkers, the solution is some where in the middle. We need to find our way back to the middle of this issue. I know that the goverment do not make its own money... It prints it's own money lol... Let go a little deeper in to this issue. Money is an illusioin, just paper.. its only worth what two people say its worth. If life was a monoply game, the goverment would be Parker Brothers. Let me give you another analogy.. The rat would not run on the wheel if there wasn't a piece of cheese in front of him. The goverment is only as stroung as the rats thats generating the energy and power on the wheel. Money is the cheese...
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino November 19, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Thank you Albert for your attitude of compromise and seeking the center for we know no one side has all the answers or all the truth. This is the attitude which must begin to characterize all of our discussions and politics and we have to begin by dispelling the myths of the far right and left some examples of which are: Obama's policies are leftist or socialist; Capitalism is evil; the private sector or businesses, especially large ones and corporations, are any more efficient than the government, or vice-verse.
Trish November 19, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Yes, I applaud Gov. Deal for this decision to say No to healthcare exchanges. We the people must not forget that there is the 10th amendment which gives power to the states and the people. The federal govt. is not all powerful...it must have the consent of the governed.
Pam J November 20, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Where you stand on this issue probably relies more on where you are in life. If you have a job and have insurance or if you just already have insurance, sure, you probably won't like the health exchange. For people like me, without insurance, it would be great. It really does dishearten me to hear everybody talking against it because nobody seems to care about those people who, through no fault of their own, don't have insurance. After being in this situation, if I every do get a good job with good insurance, I would not mind paying a little more thinking it may help someone who doesn't have insurance. Thankfully Cobb County has started a system with the Senior Services and Wellstar where people aged 55-64 can get free or reduced care. It's very scary not having insurance.
C.M. Williams November 20, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Although Gov. Deal says "no" to the healthcare exchange, he has an excellent insurance plan through the state and could care less about those who are in need of one. This is a thumb your nose in Pres. Obama's face attitude. Nothing more and nothing less. I agree with State Senator Vincent Fort that it is all about putting "politics" before people.

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