Senate Dems Criticize Deal's Refusal of State Exchange

Senate Dems React With Criticism to Deal's Decision Refusing State Exchange

Fort says Deal ignored blue ribbon panel recommendations

  The Senate Democrats were quick to respond with sharp criticism over Gov. Nathan Deal's unilateral decision refusing to participate in the state health care exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

"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.

"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.

Thousands of Georgians are without health insurance. The costs associated with this are widespread. Most insured individuals pay around $1,300 every year to defray the costs of those without insurance. The cost to businesses is great and it takes a negative toll on our state economy.###

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R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew December 14, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Maybe we should cool the advice to world until we get our own ducks in a row, or at least in the same state as the farm... I think we should get border control advice from Israel on our own border situation, not tell them to disarm like the foolish approach we take. I just can't help but think that the visit from our Homeland Secretary under President Obama and her attempts to "guide" Iraqi leaders in security is the sole reason they rejected troop agreements shortly thereafter. They listened to our "current" approach on national borders as done in the USA and kicked us out as a result.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew December 14, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Absolutely BUY it now and we pay for the first 3 years... (With money we DON'T have, but that's not important now) Easy as pie, just like a car loan or a "room to go" ... THEN you get the full upkeep all by yourself for EVERMORE- Joy to the checkbook! Kinda like splosts, getting the seed money isn't hard - its the little things like staffing, operation expansion and upkeep on the back end that gets ya where it hurts... After the salesmen all leave and the warranty is over.... Why it's a national HOT Lane on steroids!!! But I could see where the confusion comes from because if you take the new Falcon Stadium @ 1.5 Billion "DEAL", it seems we are made of money. Gee its just ONE year of Gwinnett County's general operation budget.
John Wagner December 14, 2012 at 07:25 AM
George, Long term entitlement forecasting and funding has obviously been poorly done at the federal level. The Feds just sell Treasuries to pay for it when the numbers don't work, states obviously can't. The state exchange financial projections will depend on policy coverage mandates/subsidy requirements on up to multiples of the FPL. In addition, increased employer opt-outs will push folks into the exchanges so these subsidies are also likely underforecasted. The assumptions/plans in the ACA are slowly unraveling (Long Term Care up front money, Objections to Med. Device Taxes, employers opting out/paying the fine, many states opting out of exchange burdens, etc.). We also know federal budget cuts will be coming in some form. IE....it seems sensible to not commit to a major entitlement expansion at the state level especially when the feds will do it. I also believe even the Democrats will have to look at significant revisions to the ACA bundled with all the other health entitlements. Don't agree on Keynes as economic fact. We must produce private sector economic growth to pay for all this stuff. My big fear is when we are no longer able to sell treasuries at low interest rates.
Mr. B December 14, 2012 at 01:42 PM
george, even you know this will never happen. Costs will be so much higher for Georgia as the federal government goes further and further into the red. Soon, and sooner than 10 years, all of this will be dumped on the state. And we can't afford it. Smart is the best word applied to Deal.
Karsten Torch December 14, 2012 at 02:08 PM
I have yet to ever see any facts of the sort support this idea. Keynesian economics is flawed at best. Japan tried it. Fail. Our stimulus plan was based on the idea. Fail. The problem is when you take in one hand and pass out with the other, eventually you have to stop taking in with the left hand. Any small gains are temporary at best. And usually the after result is worse than what you started with.
George Wilson December 14, 2012 at 07:10 PM
@Karsten Torch Japan did not try this which was why their economy experienced slow anemic growth after their recession.
Pam J December 14, 2012 at 07:24 PM
The bottom line is this - even the people are against the Healthcare Reform Act will probably have to admit that are some good parts to it. Unfortunately, with most new things, there will be some bad that you have to take, along with the good. I think that everybody here is thinking about themselves only. That's not what this country is all about, as I'm watching the news about what happened in Connecticut. I've always been proud of our citizens when they have come together when a tragedy such as this has occurred. Millions of people without life insurance is a tragedy of sorts. Millions of people at risk of actually dying because they can't afford insurance or healthcare necessary to help them. If you take the people who flat out "milk" the system out of the equation, there are millions of people who really do need help. And unless some of you can come up with a better plan, even in theory, be a little more understanding. And Medicaid is not a good answer because it's very difficult to qualify for Medicaid. Affordable insurance premiums are what we need. And as the system is set up now, there are none.
George Wilson December 14, 2012 at 07:26 PM
@John Wagner The problem is not "entitlements" but the top income people not paying enough in taxes, excessive and wasteful defence spending,unpaid for wars, special interest loop holes in the tax code(Delta pays no sales tax on fuel),and a health care system that is structured to to deliver the highest cost in the worldper capita and delivers the least care.It also seems strange that the states electing to not start the exchanges are reactionary, Republican dominated states that are in the South.
Mr. B December 14, 2012 at 07:40 PM
New Jersey...welcome y'all.
Mr. B December 14, 2012 at 07:47 PM
You're right Pam, there ate some good parts. But the bad parts and high costs outweigh them significantly. This bill is not the answer. It is worse than what we had before the bill was passed and it hasn't even all gone into effect yet. Heaven forbid we're going to be forced to bjy government life insurance now. Can you imagine how horrible that plan would be implemented. There is affordable insurance available. You just have to do your research. I have it and it is very reasonable. MUCH cheaper than my previous employer plan for similar benefits.
George Wilson December 14, 2012 at 07:51 PM
@John Wagner When the private sector is not producing jobs it is up to the government to spend money to create jobs (infrastructure, education, research, new public buildings, etc.) by the private sector. If not the government who will? Our biggest problem is not spending enough to create job creation not the debt. We are having the wrong debate. The debate should how to provide full employment to all at decent living wages not the debt. The debt is a long term problem that can be solved.
Karsten Torch December 14, 2012 at 08:28 PM
The debt will never be solved if we keep adding to it at $1T per year. And on what planet does it make sense to stimulate the economy by handing out money to people that you first had to take it from?
Pam J December 14, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Mr. B, I have done some research. There are some rather affordable premium plans, but the deductibles are ridiculously high. If I have to spend upwards of $5,000 to be covered for a lot of services, it's not really helping a lot. I would pay $200 a month if there wasn't a deductible to be met. I would be willing to pay $75 for an office visit, but I need the prescriptions to be affordable and all lab work and special services to be affordable. It won't help me at all if, when I go to the doctor, I find out I need special services of some kind, and still can't afford to pay for it because I have to meet a deductible. The deductibles are the main problem.
North Georgia Weather December 14, 2012 at 08:58 PM
George, that has to be one of the most stupid way of thinking I've ever heard of. So you propose taking more money from the people that already pay the vast majority of income taxes, and do what? The private sector is not producing jobs because they are afraid of the government and the direction they are headed. These are business people that do know how to balance a budget, maybe they understand a few things that you don't, did you ever that about that? .
North Georgia Weather December 14, 2012 at 09:05 PM
George... how much should the top income pay? What do you think is fair and why? Let me ask you another question, you didn't have economics in school apparently? As far as a business is concerned, what is a tax to them? Is it an expense or income. I'm pretty sure you'd get that answer correct. Now... if it is an expense, how is that business going to cover that expense? It seems that they have three choices, they absorb it by cutting corners, tightening inventory, cutting benefits, and even reducing the workforce. Or, they can increase the cost of what they sell. Or both. Companies have already tightened the belt, so what does that leave? Now when the cost of good go up, what happens George? And if people weren't spending to start with, and you raise the cost of goods, where does that leave you George? Prosperity? And yes, much of the problem is entitlements George, and it's rapidly increasing. It's got to stop.
Mr. B December 14, 2012 at 09:06 PM
If all Republicans became Democrats, there would be no one left to pay taxes. Then what do you propose George? Where does this endless supply of government money come from? Temporary jobs for construction is what you're proposing. So when those infrastructure jobs are complete, we go back to full unemployment again. New public buildings? I assume these are for the new government employees to have a place to sit and play computer games. There are empty buildings sitting in every city in the US. Why build more? The private sector is not producing jobs because the government is stymying them from doing so with threats of new taxes, etc. And to think the Dems complain about the Republicans not having any good ideas. Stupid, just plain stupid.
George Wilson December 14, 2012 at 09:08 PM
@Karsten Torch Who said anything about handing out money? I believe I said spend money on infrastructure, education, research, new public buildings, etc.
Mr. B December 14, 2012 at 09:11 PM
You need to do more research Pam. And be realistic. Its there, I have it. But I don't know your specifics, age, location, SSN, etc so you'll have to do the work yourself. Or not, and continue to complain it doesn't exist.
George Wilson December 14, 2012 at 09:16 PM
@Mr. B The only thing I agree with you on is the uncertainty and instability created by the obstructionist ,do nothing,reactionery Republican congress in refusing to negotiate in good faith on the financial crisis that the Republicans themselves put us in during the Bush years..
George Wilson December 14, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Mr.B We have empty commercial buildings because of lack of demand. That is because our mixed capitalist system goes through periodic failures. While over one half of the school buildings in the United States are in need of repair and the nation's transportation system including metro Atlanta is in need of repair, expansion, and improvement. We need more public spending instead of private spending until the system gets in balance.
Karsten Torch December 14, 2012 at 10:10 PM
How would you spend that money if you're not handing it out? The government doesn't create anything. Ever. It must first take that money from somewhere. It makes more sense to leave the money with the people that earned it, and let them spend it. Also far more effective, as the government seems to lose a large percentage of the money it takes in before it doles it back out.
John Wagner December 14, 2012 at 10:31 PM
The entitlement unfunded liability is estimated to exceed $46 trillion (GAO). Sorry sir, these must be reformed and the populist talking points about the rich paying for all this don't begin to scratch the surface of the problem. Simpson-Bowles starts to get at it while reforming the tax code enough to keep us competitive internationally, promoting growth so more people become tax payers (jobs), and yes generating more revenue from those that can afford. Financially, I'd rather be in GA than CA (its not a republican vs. dem issue). I agree on the highest health cost point but ACA just hits insurance and not true costs. There are better ideas than ACA to do this. Actually ACA mandates could even increase costs more. The ACA approach will likely create a two-tier system (Doctors opting out of accepting insurance with less that do). I am hopeful this doesnt reduce just reduce supply of healthcare to those in need. Sadly, this is already starting to happen.
Mr. B December 14, 2012 at 11:08 PM
The Senate is Democratic controlled. What have they done?
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew December 15, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Well its time to shut down some businesses then ... Why wait for taxes to push you over the cliff? Really it's the village thing to do - GOVERNMENT will catch you. Care to give it a try and report results first hand??
George Wilson December 15, 2012 at 03:53 AM
@Mr.B The senate is not controlled completely by the Democrats because it takes 60 votes to get past the Republican filibuster.Yes it is unfair and the rules need to be changed.
George Wilson December 15, 2012 at 03:59 AM
@karsten Torch Government projects create many things through funded research projects;ie, micro computers,the internet.atomic power,etc..The list is rather long.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew December 15, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Yes the FEDS would fund 3 years worth and then the full cost to operate and expand from there on belongs to GA. for EVERMORE but you're stuck with DC conditions. Mandates - we need them to survive... A real money saver if you blow the pittance in the FIRST year...
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew December 15, 2012 at 04:18 AM
We also freely confess that a broken analog watch is right twice a day, EVERY day...
Tammy Osier December 15, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Karsten (and those willing to listen and learn), I think we could find some understanding in all this if we used California as an illustration of what happens when you follow though on the logic that the government wants us to enact on a federal level. California has used the same policies with disastrous results. As a result, all the "money" is leaving California and moving to Texas and other states that won't penalize them to death. The people there are so used to high taxes and cost of living that why they continue to put the people there in office is an inigma to me. I guess after a certain amount of time you come to see your world as reality, not knowing there's a better way (well, some do-they move out of the state). I haven't done much research into that, but you may have. I'd be interested to see that. As a teacher, I use a lot of illustration to help my students learn and it usually works. And from what I understand, California is a perfect example. People won't learn from history, so use something they can see that's in operation today.
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