Republicans Introduce Bill to Block ACA, Harming Millions of Georgians

Republicans in GA State House Introduce Legislation to Block Implementation of All Provisions of Affordable Care Act

The Cost of ACA Obstructionism: 478,000 Georgians left uninsured, 4 million denied coverage or charged higher premiums due to pre-existing conditions

 

Atlanta, GA –  Today, Georgia House Republicans outlined legislation for the upcoming 2014 General Assembly session that would ban state agencies from implementing any provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

 

Should the Georgia Republican Party succeed in their efforts in dismantling the ACA, 4 million Georgians, including 631,000 children, may yet again be denied health coverage or charged higher premiums due to pre-existing conditions. Preventative care, including mammograms, well-woman visits, blood and cholesterol screening, immunizations and domestic violence counseling that can now be provided at no out of pocket cost will again become luxuries that millions of Georgians cannot afford.

 

Insurance companies will no longer be required to spend at least 80% (85% in the large group market) of premiums on medical care and efforts to improve the quality of care. Hundreds of thousands of young people under the age of 26 will be dropped from their parents’ plan.

 

“Millions of Georgians are already benefiting from the Affordable Care Act,” said Democratic Party of Georgia Chair DuBose Porter. “Republicans want to do away with covering Georgians with pre-existing conditions, a policy now banned thanks to Obamacare.”

“The Party of No essentially wants to deny health coverage to millions of Georgians,” continued Porter. “Rather than work with Democrats to find solutions to our state’s health care needs, Republicans yet again prove they have absolutely no ideas of their own.”

 

Twenty miles from Woodbine , GA, home of state representative and HB 707 co-sponsor Jason Spencer, stands Charlton Memorial Hospital. Charlton suspended its operations in August of this year due to lack of funding, an avoidable tragedy had Gov. Nathan Deal expanded Medicaid under the ACA. Now, rural residents with medical emergencies are forced to drive an additional 30 miles to the nearest hospital. Two other rural hospitals, Stewart-Webster in Richland and Calhoun Memorial in Arlington, were forced to close their doors this year due to financial pressures.

 

Helping middle class families and American small businesses take advantage of the benefits of the health care law should be a priority for Georgia lawmakers. Instead, Georgia Republicans remain committed to their dead-end dismantle and sabotage strategy.

 

Georgia Democrats remain committed in their desire to expand access to quality, affordable health care to all Georgians.

 

 

Background:

 

Kaiser Family Foundation:  Distribution of the Nonelderly Uninsured by Federal Poverty Level (FPL)

 

Chattanooga Times 12/14/13:  Insurer refunds drop this summer in second year of ObamaCare

Tennesseans will get back $5.6 million and Georgians will receive more than $15 million in refunds next month from health insurers that didn’t meet the medical pay-out ratios under the Affordable Care Act. The payments are part of $500 million in rebates being distributed nationwide in August to 8.5 million enrollees, who will share an average rebate of around $100 per family.

 

Georgia Health News 12/5/2013:  Study Calculates Cost of Expansion Decision

Georgia would see a net loss of $2.86 billion in 2022 if it were the only state remaining that did not increase its Medicaid program to cover more low-income adults, said the study, which takes into account the federal taxes paid by state residents for other states’ expansions.

 

Georgia Health News 8/26/2013:  Latest hospital closing a blow to rural residents

The economic impact of a hospital closing on a rural community can be significant. Matt Caseman of the Georgia Rural Health Association noted Monday that rural hospitals are a leading employer in a community, representing 20 percent of a local economy. “How are you going to attract future business when you don’t have a hospital?’’ Caseman said. “I don’t know what the future is — I’m very worried about it.”

 

Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services:  Preexisting Conditions by State – First and Second Estimates

 

Georgia Health News 11/11/2013:  Losing a hospital can be the ultimate hazard

 

AJC 12/4/2013:  Ralph Hudgens compares pre-existing conditions to a car wreck that is ‘your fault’

 

 

Atlanta Business Chronicle 12/6/13:  Study: Not expanding Medicaid losing proposition for Georgia

Georgia’s decision not to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act would result in a net loss in federal funds of nearly $2.9 billion in 2022, according to a new study.

Only 10 states would lose more net federal assistance than Georgia under a scenario painted by The Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit foundation that supports health-care research.

 

Think Progress 12/5/2013:  STUDY: States Rejecting Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion Will Cost Taxpayers Billions

Texas, Florida, Georgia, and other GOP-led states rejecting Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion are costing their residents billions of dollars by making them pay taxes into a system from which they won’t benefit, according to a new study by the Commonwealth Fund.

 

State Forum February 2013:  The Economic Impact of Medicaid Expansion in Georgia

Athens Banner-Herald 11/19/13:  Medical providers urge Georgia lawmakers to expand Medicaid