Ga. Republicans in damage control mode on health care

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story included a tweet from another news outlet that incorrectly quoted U.S. Sen. David Perdue on the Republican health care bill. This story has been updated to reflect his position. 

WASHINGTON – Many Georgia Republicans scrambled to re-frame the health care conversation Monday on Capitol Hill after the release of a nonpartisan report that estimated that 24 million fewer people would be on the health insurance rolls by 2026 under GOP leaders’ Obamacare replacement plan compared to the current law.

Several Republican members of the state’s congressional delegation emphasized the more flattering aspects of the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the GOP’s American Health Care Act and ignored the uglier ones in a bid to keep the proposal afloat. Others sought to return the spotlight to rising premiums under the Affordable Care Act.

The release of the CBO report on Monday marked a critical moment for the fledging Republican health care replacement. House Republican leaders and President Donald Trump have been making the hard sell to skeptical members of their own party for a week that the plan would provide relief to millions of Americans.


 

The CBO’s analysis could attract some new supporters for the plan given its estimate that the GOP bill would lower the deficit by $337 billion over the next decade and slim health care premiums by roughly 10 percent in some cases beginning in 2020. It could also crystallize opposition, particularly among Republicans from states that expanded Medicaid, given the 24 million uninsured figure and a projected short-term spike in premiums.

The offices of some Peach State Republicans kept their distance following the release of the CBO report. Some said they wanted time to evaluate before commenting.

Others rushed to defend the embattled bill, which can only afford two GOP detractors in the Senate and about 20 in the House should Democrats stay unified against it.

“The CBO report confirms that President Trump’s plan will decrease the deficit and lower health insurance premiums, which is great news for Georgia families,” U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, said in a statement.

“This bill is just the first step to creating patient-centered, market-driven health care that gives Americans the freedom to make their own health care decisions,” said U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-West Point. “People will be able to buy the coverage they want and need rather that an expensive, one-size-fits-all policy mandated by the government.”

Several argued that the CBO’s analysis did not take into account the GOP’s full health care plan, since it excluded leaders’ pledges to implement other policies at a later date, such as allowing insurance companies to sell plans across state lines.

A spokeswoman for Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson said the three-term Republican was still reviewing the bill but that he is “committed to following through on our promise to repeal the irreparably flawed healthcare law known as Obamacare before the system implodes on its own.”

U.S. Sen. David Perdue told reporters that the health care rewrite is “too important” and that Republicans must “get this right.”

“When it gets to the Senate, we’re going to be very careful and make sure that people aren’t hurt by it,” he said.

In a statement released by his office later Monday evening, Perdue also sought to shift attention toward Obamacare’s instability:

“My focus continues to be on responsibly dismantling this broken law and putting in place a better system based on people’s individual needs, not Washington’s government mandates. President Trump has been very clear he will follow through on his commitment to provide more health care choices and flexibility.” 

Georgia’s four House Democrats kept quiet on Monday evening, as did Reps. Jody Hice and Barry Loudermilk, the two Republicans who previously said they couldn’t support the GOP bill in its current form.

Meanwhile, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said the Trump administration “strenuously disagreed” with the CBO report.

Read more: 

Republican health plan advances amid questions on impact, cost

Why Georgia Republicans are nervous about House health plan

GOP health plan could mean less help for Georgians to buy insurance

Obamacare elimination could gut Georgia health fund

A county-by-county look at what the GOP’s health plan would mean for Ga.

Reader Comments 1

173 comments
Tommy Geoff
Tommy Geoff

They haven't done anything, yet. Anything that you hate is Obamacare, which is the "unaffordable" care act.

Bobby Gattman
Bobby Gattman

I want the same insurance my government has.

Annie Cook
Annie Cook

The willful ignorance and brainwashing by alternative fact fox news is blatantly obvious in these comments. Sad. Also atrocious spelling and grammar.

Harold Moore
Harold Moore

No matter how you read it or how it is said repeal is not the answer the Affodable Healthcare Law could and can be fixed ....Fix and Repair I do not think their has ever been a bill or law that did not need to be adjusted but it seems the hatred of the pass president is such that they want all that he put in place to be erased......but why should I be surprised at this they told him the day he was elected that they will say no and block him at all cost ..which they did the party of NO as they became and this is where we are today ....As a Viet Nam Vet who served this great county , history will show 2017 as the year America Died no longer will we be able to sell to the world that our way of life is the way ...if you think I am just a old man talking........just look around !!!

Jeri Henson Dies
Jeri Henson Dies

Too Little and Too Late They'll be going down with the Trump Titanic.

Betty Adams
Betty Adams

Methinks they speak with forked tongue.

Brenda Wilkins
Brenda Wilkins

What is the track record for the prognostications for Obama Care. So I don't think they have it right this time either. What are they comparing how did they come up with these figures? Don't take this as gospel truth.

Rob Danner
Rob Danner

They are doing a great job! There is no damage! Obama made the damage that the Republicans are cleaning up!

retiredfellow
retiredfellow

Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Trump, Sean Spicer, Mick Mulvaney, the 23 republican members of the Committee on Ways and Means, the 31 republican members of the Energy & Commerce Committee and many more republicans in congress and the state legislatures are all putting money ahead of people.  

I don't understand these republicans. In Georgia the estimate is that 300,000 Georgians, the poor, old and those living in the rural counties of Georgia will lose their health insurance because of this republican bill to replace the ACA and kill off the Medicare Law. Across America it is estimated to be 24 to 26 million will lose health coverage. 

These republicans predict this bill will "lower the deficit." They predict premiums will "be lower." They predict people will have choices, "access." 

They predict that premiums will go up but that by 2026, there will be a premium reduction of 10%. "Premiums would be 15 to 20 percent higher in the first year compared with under the ACA but 10 percent lower on average after 2026, the report stated. " But what about the yearly premium increases between 2019 and 2026; 7 years worth of premium increases that then might get a 10% drop in 2026, or after. By then the premiums this year in 7 years at a 15% increase per year would cost 105% more. 7 years at a 20% increase, more likely, would be a 140% increase over this years ACA premium. These republicans don't mention that do they? 

The "Greatest Generation" of Americans, republicans and democrats, fought, suffered and died to preserve our freedom. Those at home as well as the men and women in the battle worked together for the common goal. 

Most of today's republicans, educated people, college graduates, some with higher college degrees, who are the offspring of the "Greatest Generation" completely lack the goals, the dedication, the common purpose of their grandparents. To today's republicans, for the most part, money, wealth, power and welfare for the rich are all that matter.


What the hell has happened to these people? 

Money is so important that they will let people, our fellow citizens die; not get medical treatment; let children suffer, just so they and the wealthy can be even richer? 

At least they can't take the wealth with them when they meet Jesus on the other side and He mentions that Camel and the eye of the needle. But how many of our fellow citizens, our neighbors, will have died before these republicans because of their greed? 

Ray Almeida
Ray Almeida

Naw y'all need to go to work 365 days a year, take a paycut, salary freeze, and forfeit your healthcare then you can come back and talk to Georgians. You ELITISTS don't represent Georgia but only your own interests, the pharmaceutical lobby, and the medico-insurance agenda...

John Tinsley
John Tinsley

Whole thing behind the Democraps is making people think they have a right to things that others pay for. Vote for me and I will steal it from him.

Stephanie Marie
Stephanie Marie

Stop giving the damn insurance companies huge tax breaks! Worry about your constituents, like you are actually paid to do.

Edward Brewer
Edward Brewer

I wonder now many GA hospitals will close, people will start going back to emergency rooms for treatment for everything.

Tray Turner
Tray Turner

Poor people in Georgia...white and of color do not stand a chance in Georgia......corrupt and unethical representatives in the Georgia statehouse.

Doug Rogers
Doug Rogers

Republican Care is DOA. This is twenty years of work on the part of Paul welfare baby Ryan to craft a way to screw the poor and middle class while making the rich more money.

Madeline Wells Smith
Madeline Wells Smith

It is going to be a big problem for rural hospitals. Having insurance - or money - won't help you if you die before you get to a hospital an hour or more away.

Ty Benton
Ty Benton

Could be no worst than what the Democrats stuck us with in 2010 and refused to fix it unless they were voted back into office. Read the bill first before you pass the damn thing.

Sally Williams
Sally Williams

It was the republicans that refused to fix it because they wanted it to fail so their base would rally behind a dumpster fire that benefits insurance companies and the wealthy, just like the "plan" they have.

Ty Benton
Ty Benton

Sorry Democrats said they would fix it right after the elections of 2010 and refused to work with Republicans on fixing it.... Remember Obama said he would veto any such bill that had anything to do with ACA on national TV.

Ty Benton
Ty Benton

Still both parties need to work on it and hash out a law that does not have taxes or tax penalties, that does not require you to by health insurance, have a cap on or eliminate deductibles, and with a straight percentage of what the health insurance companies will have to pay (that would eliminate cherry picking of the medical bill) like 80 to 90% and we pay 20-10% of the medical bill.

Sam Nicholas
Sam Nicholas

Pubs refused to budge. I watched the hearings.

Ty Benton
Ty Benton

Republicans was told on many times that they lost so the Democrats will write the bill. I watch also and hours before the vote the Republicans raised concerns and was told that they were wrong on the House of Representatives and Seante floor. I guess there is only what people want to remember to make their side look good. I just want the law to be either fixed, repealed, and replace with a better law that will make the health insurance companies play right even if that means placing caps and percentages of pay outs to medical bill. Also that health insurance companies can not deny a person paying of meds or treatments, which has happen to my daughter who is going through cancer treatments under the ACA.

Terece Sutherlin
Terece Sutherlin

This BS healthcare was passed with zero republican votes, so how about the media stop with the GOP made this mess crap? They are trying to clean up Obamas mess that is gonna implode by the end of the year if its not repealed.. Get a clue people

Terece Sutherlin
Terece Sutherlin

Erik Moore aint no Ya'll to this. Im not a damn political party. Im a US citizen, dont confuse whats been going on

Erik Moore
Erik Moore

But you all have been threatening the end of Obamacare for the past 7 years.

Sally Williams
Sally Williams

They are the reason all the problems have not only not been fixed but have actively worked to make it fail so they can get support from people like you who will suffer much more under the bill they are promoting.

Terece Sutherlin
Terece Sutherlin

Sally Williams actually all those who didnt work and pay into it were the cause of the implosion...you cant give out what no one is paying into. The blame game only works up to the point of collapse than something has to be done, Obama care was a house of cards to start with, so if the young didnt pay into it , it would collapse and here we are! BTW not one single republican congressman voted for this house of cards. We the public was sold a a lie

Kathy Mims
Kathy Mims

what the hell have they been working on for the past 7 years? NOTHING!!!!!

Terece Sutherlin
Terece Sutherlin

Kathy Mims exactly, no one wants it! The only ones who do are those who are getting it for free or at an extreme discount. There should be no replacement until 100% of all US citizens will receive the same care at the same price period. if you're putting out the fire that is burning your house to the ground why would you build another fire? This sint freedom, its more government control

Erica Brittany McIntosh
Erica Brittany McIntosh

Obamacare sucks. Ryancare will suck. Either give us single payer or a totally free market. There simply is no in between.

Ken Murphy
Ken Murphy

You idiots were sent to Congress to fix what the socialists messed up in regards to Healthcare and this is what you come up with? We shouldn't be paying more and have less coverage t h an under the current socialists plan. Repeal it and turn it back over to free Market forces, expand medicare to assist the impoverished or go home.

Sally Williams
Sally Williams

Ken, it's the republicans that keep talking about registering groups of people they disagree with, it's also republicans who have mentioned "camps" for certain groups of people, detainment camps as well as "reeducation" camps.

Mary Blue Morgan
Mary Blue Morgan

there is no "free market" for health care if you keep medicare.

Ken Murphy
Ken Murphy

No , we would all be in a concentration camp.

Shelton Brown Jr
Shelton Brown Jr

Define socialism? Then tell me how we have police, firemen and an army.

Mark Cosby
Mark Cosby

If the socialist were in charge we'd all have free healthcare and an economy that doesn't funnel 98% of all new wealth gains to the 1%.

Ken Murphy
Ken Murphy

No SallyWilliams it's the other party that does those things. Socialism is the first stop on the way to communism, then to concentration camps .

Roberta Cromlish
Roberta Cromlish

Mark Cosby Have you seen the destruction in Venezuela lately? Shelves are empty and families are now forced to eat their pets. Please go live there if that is the setting in which you would like to live.

Sam Nicholas
Sam Nicholas

Let me guess....you're going to reject medicare when you hit 65, right?? I bet you either ARE on Medicare or will be. It's not socialism when rednecks need it.

Ken Murphy
Ken Murphy

Why do you liberals always resort to name calling when your argument has no merit? Sam Nicholas

Mary Blue Morgan
Mary Blue Morgan

sam is making an excellent point. will you reject the medicare when your time comes? it's hard to keep your temper in check when people don't walk their talk

Ken Murphy
Ken Murphy

My parents are on Medicare and while it helps some they still pay a lot of money, and they're not rich. So when I am eligible for social security and for Medicare I will take it because I have paid into since I was 18. While that at may be socialism, they never gave me a choice to opt out which I would have done . That makes you likely next point moot.

Mary Blue Morgan
Mary Blue Morgan

it is socialism. and there's a good reason for it. healthcare is, as you mentioned, very expensive. most people pay a small (what? 1-2%?) of their payroll taxes toward it. even if you feel you have already 'paid for it since you were 18' you will end up getting back in health care far more than you put in if ur lucky enough to live a long life. or if you are unlucky enough to need expensive catastrophic care, or chemo, etc. my bet is that most people are glad they didn't get the choice to 'opt out' and then have to pay for expensive end-of-life care out of their own pocket.

Greg Connell
Greg Connell

Investigate Medicaid recipients..there are millions receiving benefits that should not be...The same for food stamps...It's time to go to work and put your big boy and girls panties on!

Shelton Brown Jr
Shelton Brown Jr

He's doing what this administration does all the time. Just tells lies.

George Mccauley
George Mccauley

Sally Williams if they don't want to starve they can get a JOB

Erik Moore
Erik Moore

Millions? You sure about that? I have the feeling that you made that up. That's just not true...

Sally Williams
Sally Williams

Actually that information is public and welfare fraud is less than 2% nationally, under the new healthcare plan millions will lose eligibility for Medicaid and they are making significant cuts to foodstamps as well as raising requirements for eligibility so they can fund the war dept with an extra $54mil. Don't worry though because all those poor people can always enlist if they don't want to starve and have the opportunity to die in a stupid war or, even better, come back with broken bodies and minds to a VA they have cut to help come up with that $54mil.

Greg Connell
Greg Connell

I disagree worked with the poor for 30 years. Just in my little sample over 50 cases of medicaid given out unnecessary. Food stamps? Several hundred that would be cut. So this is widespread. Unfortunately Rhonda Chambers the government and States have to to make the changes. Individuals reporting fraud gets no where for change happening at this point...

Liz Dadin
Liz Dadin

Rhonda Chambers Yep to lazy to do their own research.

Sam Nicholas
Sam Nicholas

There are 365 million Americans, if every case worker had 50 cases...it would still be 2% of the population, Let's discuss billionaire corporations subsidized by taxpayers....there's the money.

Ted Brackney
Ted Brackney

Exactly Sam, OP is complaining about pennies dropping out of the bottom of his pocket while not realizing that Mr Walton stole his ATM card decades ago

Greg Connell
Greg Connell

So yesterday we learned a lawyer that works in DC and makes 1.5 million a year has a wife that is an immigrant who has drawn over $100,000 in food stamps for their children since 2010. Yes their is more fraud out there than you think and it is costing Tax payers millions each year.

Greg Connell
Greg Connell

Patricia Shannon One person in one County in the State of GA. witnessed this. But $500 a monthx12 x50x30 = 9 million which does not include free medical care and food stamps. I can assure you there are more cases in my County, but there are also 158 more counties in GA and another 49 states with a bunch of counties. We are wasting millions on people who could work. If your really disabled I agree you deserve all the government help you can get.

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