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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 has 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!

frank November 19, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Dwindy, you are a moron. I have to foot the bill for my entire healthcare costs, and I can tell you that it costs me several times more than what it cost friends who work for large corporations. Basically, the small business people are subsidizing healthcare for these corporations, who get special consideration when it comes to pricing. If you were self employed, you would know this reality. A 60 hour work week for me is a short week. You know nothing of what you speak. I work hard, and am definitely not lazy. You must be a spoiled person indeed. Still living off mommy and daddy ?.
Jerry Robinson November 20, 2012 at 01:53 AM
This Govenor is provided free housing and Government tax payer health care by me a Georgia tax payer. This Govennor will be investigated for a Hall County illegal landfill awared to his cronry best friend. I took forward to seeing that crook in one of the Federal Prisons where he belong.
Alma Freedman November 20, 2012 at 07:17 PM
I am Not rich but I do not want the Governor to set up a Health care exchange in Georgia. I do not want socialized medicine and I want the government to stay out of my life. I worked hard for my money and I am only willing to share with people I choose. Once the government starts spending my money, and yours, to buy health care for people who will vote for them ,we are in big trouble.
JustinK November 20, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Do you drive to work on public roads? Does your job interact w/ any level of gov't (contracting, sell products to, etc)? Have any loved ones depended on Social Security/Medicare in old age? Did you get a student loan or a mortgage? If so, the gov't is already in your life. I work very hard for my money as well but I'm reasonable enough to understand that we've made the social decision not to let everyone die on the street if they don't have insurance and that there are millions of freeriders taking advantage of our hospitals w/o any consideration on how to pay for it. So long as you participate in the economy and can potentially get ill/injured w/o any ability to pay for it, you impact others in increased charges and gov't expenses for indigent care. If you don't want to get charged to participate in health insurance, go out in the Alaskan wilderness and live off the grid...it'll conveniently remove the need to file any tax return at all. Just live your life and barter for healthcare if you can.
Michael November 20, 2012 at 09:12 PM
This is the state of things: refusing to make a customized state exchange means the federal government will do it. Your opinions on a state regulating the sale of health plans and some subsidies don't matter at this point. GA Ill get an exchange, just out state government will have no say on its content because Deal and Co refused to do his job and make an exchange in the eventuality Obama won Now Obama won. Deal and Co's inaction now means the federal government will now dictate a nice list of health plans our uninsured can buy (the state would have had the opportunity to, but didn't) Conservatives should be angry at their reps for their laziness and lack of planning

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