21 Aug 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by cabanasalon
Patch Instagram photo by cabanasalon

Is Gov. Deal Right to Refuse to Create State Health Exchange?

Georgia's Governor cites unknown costs, lack of flexibility in federal regulations.

Is Gov. Deal Right to Refuse to Create State Health Exchange?

Gov. Nathan Deal today 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!

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