Rep. Sharon Cooper is the main reason that you should go to Commissioner Bob Ott’s Town Hall meetings. You never know what she will say. Tuesday night at Mt. Bethel Methodist church, she made her normal token appearance and quickly left as usual. In East Cobb, this is considered a good thing. You’ll rarely find another state legislator from East Cobb at any public event. The Chamber of Commerce doesn’t count.
Also in attendance were Ed Banks and Scott Sweeney. They are on our local school board. Yes, they are conservative Republicans from East Cobb but they had enough sense to vote for math books in our schools recently. Too bad they lost.
Rep. Cooper said a few logical and helpful things at the beginning of the meeting. She said that when Gov. Mitt Romney got universal health care passed in Massachusetts, the process added many newly insured patients and slowed down the healthcare system for a while. Now, that Obamacare is coming, Rep. Cooper recommended that everyone make appointments with their physician’s before the line gets too long.
Rep. Cooper has been an avowed critic of Obamacare in the past and may have thought that she was throwing another verbal brick through the Obamacare window. Upon closer inspection, she had just confirmed the reality that Obamacare is coming and to start thinking about potential start-up problems like adults. This sounds like a reasonable suggestion from someone who has supported 40 futile and infantile votes against Obamacare in the House of Representatives. Granted, Romneycare is now the most popular and efficient program in Massachusetts but she is right that the transition wasn’t instantaneous or flawless. But she said that in Massachusetts that problem was eventually solved.
If Massachusetts could figure out how to absorb many newly insured then, with Rep. Cooper’s guidance, Georgia should be able to easily absorb many newly insured too. Rep. Cooper could use the example of what Massachusetts did right and what could be improved upon. She shouldn’t let Georgia stick its head in the sand. Rep. Cooper can show Georgia and the nation how a state government can learn from the experiences of other states. She can show how a woman Republican can lead.
Georgia will show Massachusetts and the rest of the nation that progress can come from a red state. In Georgia, when something needs to be done Republicans will unfurl the sails on the ship of state, instead of throwing out the anchor like their brethren in Washington. The transition to Obamacare in Georgia may be no more an obstacle than a ripple on the water.
Georgia can see what other states have done and use their experience as a stepping stone. All that is required is leadership.
It could happen.