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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 last week told the Obama administration 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 below!

BStein November 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Governor Deal is a sell-out up for the highest corporate bidder. He won't set up the exchange because he's getting too much money from the Health Insurance companies that paid for his campaign. Sad that he puts personal politics ahead of the needs of Georgians. Can't say i'm surprised though.
Jeff November 20, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Why is it personal politics, when one knows at their core, that the Healthcare law will never work, when only half the population will contribute and the other half will get a free ride???? Even in countries where it half ass works, everybody contributes. Hoping it works out .....is not very smart.
BStein November 20, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Your argument is incorrect Jeff. As usual you and people like you are turning this into a takers and makers argument. How is it that only half the people will contribute when everyone is required to get health insurance? If not they will get fined. The entire argument behind that mandate is that it gets rid of the takers and the makers and puts everyone on equal footing, all are required to pay.
BF November 21, 2012 at 08:57 PM
BStein is correct in his assessment, the federal law does not give free healthcare to a new sect of people, it simply requires the state to have a public healthcare option (which users will still pay for). The difference in the program would be that the public program would be available to those who private companies refuse to insure. However, I do not think it's fair to assume the Gov. is "selling out to big business", he probably has reasons that are political and economic, not personal, for his position on the reforms.

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