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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 told the Obama administration this week 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!

Albert November 18, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Both sides have shallow thinkers, the solution is some where in the middle. We need to find our way back to the middle of this issue. I know that the goverment do not make its own money... It prints it's own money lol... Let go a little deeper in to this issue. Money is an illusioin, just paper.. its only worth what two people say its worth. If life was a monoply game, the goverment would be Parker Brothers. Let me give you another analogy.. The rat would not run on the wheel if there wasn't a piece of cheese in front of him. The goverment is only as stroung as the rats thats generating the energy and power on the wheel. Money is the cheese...
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino November 19, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Thank you Albert for your attitude of compromise and seeking the center for we know no one side has all the answers or all the truth. This is the attitude which must begin to characterize all of our discussions and politics and we have to begin by dispelling the myths of the far right and left some examples of which are: Obama's policies are leftist or socialist; Capitalism is evil; the private sector or businesses, especially large ones and corporations, are any more efficient than the government, or vice-verse.
Trish November 19, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Yes, I applaud Gov. Deal for this decision to say No to healthcare exchanges. We the people must not forget that there is the 10th amendment which gives power to the states and the people. The federal govt. is not all powerful...it must have the consent of the governed.
Pam J November 20, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Where you stand on this issue probably relies more on where you are in life. If you have a job and have insurance or if you just already have insurance, sure, you probably won't like the health exchange. For people like me, without insurance, it would be great. It really does dishearten me to hear everybody talking against it because nobody seems to care about those people who, through no fault of their own, don't have insurance. After being in this situation, if I every do get a good job with good insurance, I would not mind paying a little more thinking it may help someone who doesn't have insurance. Thankfully Cobb County has started a system with the Senior Services and Wellstar where people aged 55-64 can get free or reduced care. It's very scary not having insurance.
C.M. Williams November 20, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Although Gov. Deal says "no" to the healthcare exchange, he has an excellent insurance plan through the state and could care less about those who are in need of one. This is a thumb your nose in Pres. Obama's face attitude. Nothing more and nothing less. I agree with State Senator Vincent Fort that it is all about putting "politics" before people.

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