Health policy splits Georgia gov candidates after repeal’s fail

A protester holds up a sign during a rally against the GOP health care plan, on Capitol Hill, July 26, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Gov. Nathan Deal and the state Legislature will likely have the first word on sweeping Medicaid changes the state could pursue after the GOP effort to repeal Obamacare failed. But the race to succeed the governor seems certain to spice up the debate.

Not surprisingly, the six leading candidates to succeed the governor are split over how Georgia should proceed now that the Affordable Care Act seems destined to remain the law of the land. Democrats advocate a full expansion of the Medicaid program, while most of the Republicans are receptive to waivers that would grant Georgia more flexibility in spending federal dollars.

Read more on MyAJC: After Obamacare repeal fails, Georgia leaders turn to Medicaid waivers

Here’s a closer look at where they stand:

State Rep. Stacey Abrams, Democrat: Supports Medicaid expansion

“Georgia must acknowledge the imperative of providing healthcare coverage to our rural communities and working poor and accept full expansion, particularly given that Medicaid expansion states have recognized economic benefits by extending access.”

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Republican: Wants states to get block grant funding for Medicaid, supports plan to restrict “able-bodied, childless” adults from some Medicaid benefits

“If Congress can’t pass a repeal and replace as they’ve promised, they should empower the states to fix the problem. Georgia should get its equitable share of federal money – it’s not right now and that’s not fair – and allow us to devise a plan that fits our budget, our population and our principles. Under my leadership, Georgia would devise a Medicaid plan that continues to focus on our most vulnerable citizens and that is financially sustainable, but that does not expand to include able-bodied, childless adults. I would seek to balance a helping hand for our most vulnerable citizens with the need to respect that every tax dollar comes from a hard-working Georgian trying to provide for their family.”

State Rep. Stacey Evans, Democrat: Supports Medicaid expansion, wants some workers re-classified

“I, along with thousands of Georgians, breathed a sigh of relief when Trumpcare failed last week. Georgia needs a Governor that will use the power of that office to put Washington’s petty politics aside and expand Medicaid. But we can’t stop there. There are thousands of Georgia workers that are misclassified as independent contractors so that their employers can wrongfully deny them the benefits that they deserve, including healthcare. By expanding Medicaid and classifying workers appropriately, insurance will be available to hundreds of thousands more Georgians. And as governor, that’s exactly what I’ll do.”

State Sen. Hunter Hill, Republican: Is open to Medicaid waivers

“The lack of decisive action on healthcare this past week has summed up the frustration many voters have with Washington. While we still aren’t clear what the final result will be, Senator Hill is committed to working with Secretary Price to allow Georgia the greatest degree of flexibility possible as it pertains to federal Medicaid dollars. Expanding a broken system is not the answer.”

Secretary of State Brian Kemp, Republican: Is open to an alternative solution from the state

“We can’t trust career politicians in Washington who promise to repeal Obamacare, then when they have the power they fail to deliver; but we can trust Governor Deal and Secretary Price to develop conservative solutions that release the death grip Obamacare has on Georgia families, small businesses, and our economy.”

Insider’s note: Republican state Sen. Michael Williams’ campaign didn’t return emails seeking comment.

 

Read more on MyAJC: After Obamacare repeal fails, Georgia leaders turn to Medicaid waivers

 

 

 

Reader Comments 6

83 comments
Kevin Tuttle
Kevin Tuttle

Oh, I can imagine. They probably have some specious nonsense about letting the free market sort it all out.

Warren Winter
Warren Winter

Anyone who makes it harder to get medical care doesn't deserve your vote

Tom Alfred
Tom Alfred

No... I like my ObamaCare.. What I don't like are the majority of State Republican insurance commissioners approving or "rubber stamping" annual rate increases.

Thomas E. Sims Sr.
Thomas E. Sims Sr.

ACA IS SAVING MANY LIVES.SAD MANY CONSERVATIVES THINK OTHERWISE.

Tom Alfred
Tom Alfred

Mark Douglas Before the ACA — I couldn't get insurance at any price.

Mark Douglas
Mark Douglas

Funny I can't afford insurance after the ACA. I also lost my job because of it.

Tom Alfred
Tom Alfred

Mark Douglas Just curious if you blame the ACA each time a Republican state insurance commissioner approves or rubber stamps insurance company rate increases?

Mark Douglas
Mark Douglas

I am just wondering why anyone would want Trump in charge of their health care.

Jackalope
Jackalope

If you like Obamacare, then you aren't paying for Obamacare.


Jackalope
Jackalope

I'm wondering why anyone would want ANYONE in government in charge of their health care.

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

Separation of health care and government

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

Haha, that's hilarious. We already have tons of intervention, hence the prices, so we should have more. You need to lay off the crazy pills cat lady.

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

Oh dear, a Bernie fan. Surely the last year has opened your eyes to all socialists.

Marsi Thrash
Marsi Thrash

Mark Cotner It says life is a right. Everyone needs healthcare in order to sustain life.

Tom Alfred
Tom Alfred

You don't like big gubberment single-payer healthcare Medicare for seniors?

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

Nope. Don't like the VA either. I also have never seen anything in the constitution that suggests health care is a right. Perhaps when an amendment passes we can talk.

Tom Alfred
Tom Alfred

Government Single Payer for veterans?

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

Yeah, how's that working out for them?

Tom Alfred
Tom Alfred

I said government single-payer. I didn't say government hospitals.

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

Which do you think is the end goal of the democrats?

Rocky Buldo
Rocky Buldo

ACA was built on the Heritage foundation Newt Gingrich Health care task force template. It was designed to Privatize the Profit and Socialize the Losses.

Tom Alfred
Tom Alfred

Mark Cotner "U.S. government entities spend more per-capita on health care than all but two other countries in the world. The two advanced economies with the most economically free health care systems—Switzerland and Singapore—have achieved universal health insurance while spending a fraction of what the U.S. spends.Jan 27, 2015." Tell me why it makes sense to pay what we do in the US for prescription drugs and why its a great idea for an MRI to cost about $2,000.00 in the US and $125.00 in Japan?

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

Once again. Amend the constitution and we'll talk. As it stands now no judge in the country would agree with your statement above.

Cheri Hall-Read
Cheri Hall-Read

Does that mean separation of social security and medicare too. How about church and state......

Rocky Buldo
Rocky Buldo

I see Mark Cotner agrees with the Heritage foundation objective is as ever. Privatize the Profit and Socialize the Losses.

Melissa Page
Melissa Page

There is not one tiny corner of healthcare in the U.S. that is free of government intervention and subsidy, from the education of healthcare providers to the building of hospitals to research and development to the subsidization of every single insurance policy (what do you think tax credits are if not subsidies?). And Medicare and Medicaid spending doesn't just help individuals--it holds up entire systems of care you benefit from no matter your payer source. Unless you're talking about going back to trading chickens for healthcare you should hush. And if that is what you're talking about, you should still hush. You're living in fantasyland.

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

How exactly does getting third party payer out of health care equal socializing losses in any way. By the way, it was YOUR party that rammed Obamacare through.

Melissa Page
Melissa Page

Ad hominems. Nice. Translation: you have no argument. The prices would be even higher in your Free Market Fantasyland and far fewer would be able to access coverage and care. It's clear you're just regurgitating misinformation and don't have the first clue about healthcare. You must be a member of the "let them die" party. No matter. The adults will carry on despite you.

Norman A. Thums
Norman A. Thums

Tom Alfred bankrupting our economy does not promote the welfare of the people. You want that plan, move to Venezuela

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

Um, free markets drive prices down. Facts. The adults are in charge sweetie and it looks like it will continue to be the case for some time now. I'm sorry you lost.

Melissa Page
Melissa Page

LOL tell me more about me. Are you paying for your healthcare with the profit from your fiction writing career?

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

You're just afraid you'll be missing out on those blank third party checks since you work in health care.

Melissa Page
Melissa Page

More fiction. You have a nice day in your alt-reality, Marky Mark.

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

Excellent job at avoiding the point.

Mark Douglas
Mark Douglas

Wanting the government to take money from you to make other people dependent on both the government and you does not mean you care, it means you're too lazy to do it yourself.

Mark Douglas
Mark Douglas

I read the preamble. It says nothing about paying for my guns or health care. Interesting.

Melissa Page
Melissa Page

You haven't made one viable point yet. I made mine in my first comment, the content of which you chose to ignore. You're just regurgitating misinformation and batting 0% trying to figure out whom you're talking with. Since you need things spelled out super-plainly--have a nice day means goodbye.

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

The point which suggests we have too much intervention and the fix is more intervention. I'm pretty sure I addressed it correctly.

Mark Douglas
Mark Douglas

Melissa if you read his comments he addressed your issue.

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

I love liberal arts creative interpretations of the constition. They make my heart sing. "Wrote a song about it, like to hear it? Here it go . . . "

Mark Douglas
Mark Douglas

It also says I have the right to keep and bear arms. I expect you to pay for my ar-15. It's a "right"

Marsi Thrash
Marsi Thrash

And the trolls laugh. As if they've never needed a doctor. Idiots.

Marsi Thrash
Marsi Thrash

Mark Douglas no, it is talking about a well organized militia. Not a troll with a gun.

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

The supreme court disagrees. Many times.

Mark Douglas
Mark Douglas

Okay how about my right to freedom of movement. Are you going to buy me a car?

Mark Douglas
Mark Douglas

How about freedom of the press. Should we pay CNN to stay in business?

Mark Douglas
Mark Douglas

Before you start talking about 'rights" learn what they mean. Just because you feel entitled to something does not mean it should be "free".

Mark Douglas
Mark Douglas

Wanting the government to take money from you to make other people dependent on both the government and you does not mean you care, it means you're too lazy to do it yourself.

Jackalope
Jackalope

Hell no.

And I'm a senior on Medicare...but not by choice.

Jackalope
Jackalope

Then you clearly have never read anything past the preamble (which, in and of itself, carries no legislative authority).  The founders said...if that were the case, why would you need the rest of the Constitution?  "General Welfare" was only intended to authorize those actions necessary to comply with the things that WERE authorized by the Constitution...not every idiotic buy-a-vote scheme politicians could come up with.


Jackalope
Jackalope

And you think hospitals will listen to the people who are NOT paying them?

Jackalope
Jackalope

I simply do not understand why Bernie fans don't just move to Venezuela where they can immediately enjoy the vast benefits of socialism.  It's there!  It's right there in front of them to see how wonderful it is!

Tom Alfred
Tom Alfred

Mark Cotner Kindly provide evidence supporting your claim about free markets driving healthcare costs down. Unsupported speculation personal opinion and conjecture doesn't work for me. And by the way, the Constitution already says the government should promote the welfare of its citizens. No Amendment needed.

Tom Alfred
Tom Alfred

Mark Douglas just curious how you feel about the government forcing someone to buy car insurance even if they have never had an accident. I'm speculating here, but I'm not aware of anyone ever leaving this world without needing to see a Doctor.

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

The federal government does not and can not do that. Remember, that was the part of the ACA deemed unconstitutional. State and local are another conversation.

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

Free markets drive down prices. Google it if you just moved here and are completely unaware of economics and capitalism.

Tom Alfred
Tom Alfred

Mark Cotner The Supreme Court found that penalties the law places on people who don't buy health insurance count as a tax protected by the Constitution.

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

Tom Alfred we've had third party payer for too long. I agree that our prices are terrible.

Tom Alfred
Tom Alfred

Mark Cotner which almost makes an argument to get third party insurance companies out of the profit equation. Where the federal government negotiates directly with providers and suppliers.

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

Oh yeah, government price controls. That'll fix it. ;) No one has ever exploited that in the past.

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

I've seen emergency rooms advertise in Atlanta. Competition is always good for service and prices.

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

The only healthcare we provide are ambulances for trauma victims?

Tom Alfred
Tom Alfred

Mark Cotner So you like the competition for prescription drugs or the other insurance providers competing for business on the health insurance exchange. "Competition is always good for service and prices....."

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

On the exchange doesn't sound very free market.

Tom Alfred
Tom Alfred

"I've seen emergency rooms advertise in Atlanta. Competition is always good for service and prices." Advertise for what? And what evidence do you provide that ER services and prices are good? Compared to what exactly? Your logical fallacy of unsupported assertions do not a rational argument make. Because I say so is an unsupported Assertion: The absence of any argument with evidence to support a claim. https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisladd/2017/03/07/there-is-never-a-free-market-in-health-care/#12dfbc251147

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

"The exchange" is hardly a free market. Most states are down to one provider and some have none left. The federal government is subsidizing the insurers that remain.

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

Advertising means they care about patient experience because they have competition. That should drive prices and increase level of care. Our only option with a previous insurer kept us waiting for 12 hours for a head injury to a child once.

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