State of Georgia Archives: on Health Care


Jim Barksdale: ObamaCare isn't perfect, but it's a good step

Jim knows the Affordable Care Act is not perfect, but he believes it was a good step toward providing all of our citizens the freedom to get sick without the threat of bankruptcy. While the Washington crowd has focused on repealing health care-- returning us back to the days where insurance companies could terminate your coverage if it got too expensive, a pre-existing condition meant being forced to stay at a job just to maintain some health coverage, and women had to pay much more for their insurance--Jim would focus on making the Affordable Care Act work better.

Jim believes it's outrageous that people in other countries can buy the same prescription drugs for less than we can in the United States, and wants to see Medicare be able to negotiate lower prescription drug prices in order to cut costs without reducing quality for our seniors. And 10% of Medicare coverage spending goes towards "improper payments," or charges that have no purpose.

Source: 2016 Georgia Senate campaign website JimBarksdale.com Aug 8, 2016

Nathan Deal: Medicaid expansion costs too much

The cost of Medicaid has grown from $2.6 billion in FY2013 to $3.1 billion in FY2017. Medicaid and PeachCare spending per Georgia family amounts to $1,258 per annum. When federal and other costs are added to this number, it is at least $4,365 each year. And that's without expansion. Had we elected to expand Medicaid, it would have required us to include approximately $209 million in this upcoming year's budget alone and that number would only continue to grow exponentially.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Georgia legislature Jan 13, 2016

Nathan Deal: Affordable Care Act is waste of money

To demonstrate our compliance with the mandates of the Affordable Care Act, we must devote $2.1 million in FY2017 budget just to turn in the paper work. When you combine the cost of federal dollars to that total, it is $4.4 million. In other words, this is just what it costs to tell the IRS that everyone in our State Health Benefit Plan and Medicaid program is covered. I can assure you that those funds could have been put to better use than on bureaucratic paperwork.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Georgia legislature Jan 13, 2016

Derrick Grayson: Repeal ObamaCare and replace it with nothing

Source: 2016 Georgia Senate campaign website, grayson2016.com Oct 9, 2015

Rick Allen: ObamaCare is wrong approach & needs to be stopped

In 2010, the Democrats in Congress rammed through ObamaCare, hurting our senior citizens by slashing billions from Medicare, decreasing the quality of healthcare and, most disturbingly, putting Washington bureaucrats between patients and doctors. It's the wrong approach to healthcare and it needs to be stopped. I'll immediately join the fight to repeal ObamaCare and push for market-driven reforms rather than more big government solutions.
Source: 2014 Georgia House campaign website, RickWAllen.com Nov 4, 2014

Jason Carter: Claimed water kills Ebola; "I was misinformed"

The three candidates sparred over whether Georgia is properly prepared for a possible Ebola case, as Deal's rivals criticized him for telling a newspaper last week that "water kills the Ebola virus." Both were eager to remind a television audience of those remarks on Sunday.

Hunt said Deal lacks the firsthand knowledge to lead Georgia's response. And Carter said his experience working in the Peace Corps in South Africa during disease outbreaks would serve him well.

Deal, for his part, said he was "misinformed" by his public health commissioner. Minutes before the debate, he appointed a task force to formulate the state's response to the deadly virus.

Source: Journal-Constitution on 2014 Georgia Gubernatorial debate Oct 19, 2014

Pat Roberts: Ebola: suspend air travel between the U.S. and West Africa

During the rest of the hour-long debate, the moderators quizzed the candidates about their positions on issues ranging from farm policy to the Ebola outbreak to immigration. In a rare moment of agreement, both candidates said they would suspend air travel between the U.S. and West Africa as a way to stop more Ebola cases from coming to the U.S. But Orman accused Roberts of "inappropriate" tough talk against Ebola because he skipped a hearing on the crisis when he was in Washington last month. "The hearing was held out session," Roberts said. "Nothing of substance came of it."
Source: CBS News on 2014 Georgia Senate debate Oct 15, 2014

Amanda Swafford: Dramatically strengthen Health Savings Accounts

We can also bring more individuals back into the healthcare industry by deregulating physician's assistants and nurses. Not every ailment requires a visit to the doctor when it can be easily diagnosed and treated by trained and qualified professionals. Alternative healthcare options, including medicinal marijuana, should also be allowed equal entry to the market. This gives the individual more power and responsibility for making healthcare decisions.

We should also dramatically strengthen Health Savings Accounts. Incentives for healthcare under the current tax code should not depend on meeting special gross income thresholds engineered by Congress. And the FDA should be audited and possibly replaced with voluntary, free market groups made up of both industry and consumer driven organizations to monitor, protect and research what is actually demanded by those utilizing the goods & services produced.

Source: 2014 Georgia Senate campaign website, AmandaSwafford.net Sep 30, 2014

Amanda Swafford: Repeal ObamaCare; it's not a government responsibility

Question topic: It is the government's responsibility to be sure everyone has health care and a livable income.

Swafford: Strongly Disagree

Question topic: The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) should be repealed by Congress.

Swafford: Strongly Agree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Georgia Senate race Sep 30, 2014

David Perdue: Repeal ObamaCare; it's not a government responsibility

Question topic: It is the government's responsibility to be sure everyone has health care and a livable income.

Perdue: Strongly Disagree

Question topic: The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) should be repealed by Congress.

Perdue: Strongly Agree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Georgia Senate race Sep 30, 2014

Rick Allen: No government responsibility to ensure healthcare

Q: It is the government's responsibility to be sure everyone has health care and a livable income?

Allen: Strongly Disagree

Q: The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) should be repealed by Congress?

Allen: Strongly Agree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Georgia Senate race Sep 30, 2014

Andrew Hunt: Georgia can do better than ObamaCare

The state of Georgia can do better than the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obama Care). The AHA is a special interest bill that helps insurance companies make more money by requiring people to get insurance plans from a select few companies. Instead, what the people need are options that support a free enterprise system.

In addition to insurance plans, we should have Co-op options like Colorado, or even Direct Health Care programs between patients and their doctors. I would also work to change rules and regulations to decrease insurance cost for providers so that that the total cost to provide health care can be reduced by 10-20% in many cases.

One of the main culprits of high healthcare costs is malpractice insurance. In Minnesota, malpractice insurance costs half of what doctors pay in Georgia. By providing more options than just insurance by large healthcare companies and reducing insurance costs for providers, the patient (customer) and doctor will both come out ahead.

Source: 2014 Georgia gubernatorial campaign website, AndrewHunt.us Aug 31, 2014

Paul Broun: Repeal ObamaCare; it's not a government responsibility

Question topic: It is the government's responsibility to be sure everyone has health care and a livable income.

Broun: Strongly Disagree

Question topic: The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) should be repealed by Congress.

Broun: Strongly Agree

Question topic: Briefly list political or legislative issues of most concern to you.

Broun: As a family physician for four decades, I know firsthand that ObamaCare fundamentally changes the American healthcare system as we know it. As Georgia's next U.S. Senator, I will strongly advocate repealing ObamaCare in full and replacing it with patient-centered, market-based solutions, such as my Patient OPTION Act.

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Georgia Senate race Jul 2, 2014

Michelle Nunn: ObamaCare would have been better if bipartisan

Georgia Democrat Michelle Nunn refused to say how she would have voted on ObamaCare, dodging a major issue in her Senate campaign: "At the time the Affordable Health Care Act was passed, I was working for Points of Light. I wished that we had more people who had tried to architect a bipartisan legislation," she said when asked how she would have voted in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

After MSNBC followed up to ask if she would have voted yes or no, Nunn dodged again: "I think it's impossible to look back retrospectively and say what would you have done if you were there," she said.

Nunn has been running to the center in conservative-leaning Georgia. She's likely to be pressed on the issue going forward.

Source: The Hill e-zine on 2014 Georgia Senate race May 19, 2014

Jason Carter: Expanding Medicaid brings tax dollars back to Georgia

Q: What are your thoughts about House Bill 990, which would require legislative approval for any expansion of Medicaid in Georgia?

A: I think it's essentially a political bill.

Q: You're in favor of Medicaid expansion?

A: What I believe is that we have to look at this problem critically. I think expansion should be on the table, and make sure those folks (eligible for coverage) can get either private insurance on the exchanges or get a Medicaid-like expansion--it all has to be on the table. I think we will do one of those things if I'm elected governor.

Q: Are you going to make expansion and health reform issues in your campaign?

A: I think that it makes economic sense for our state to ensure that we draw down our tax dollars and bring them back to Georgia to improve the health options that our citizens have.

Source: Athens Banner-Herald on 2014 Georgia gubernatorial race Mar 22, 2014

David Perdue: Responsible thing to do: fix ObamaCare; don't repeal it

A spokesman for Perdue's campaign said that there was no conflict in Perdue's previous support for the idea of a federal health care law and his current opposition to ObamaCare. "David supports the full repeal of ObamaCare," the spokesman said. "However, he along with many other Republicans recognize that there are issues that must be addressed at the federal level. For example, Georgia Congressman Dr. Tom Price has a great patient-centered alternative to replace ObamaCare."

Rep. Jack Kingston drew criticism from conservatives after he said Republicans should improve, rather than repeal, the Affordable Care Act: "A lot of conservatives say, 'Nah, let's just step back and let this thing fall to pieces on its own.' But I don't think that's always the responsible thing to do," Kingston said. "I think we need to be looking for things that improve health care overall for all of us. And if there is something in ObamaCare, we need to know about it." Kingston later said his comments had been misinterpreted

Source: Huffington Post on 2014 Georgia Senate race Mar 10, 2014

Karen Handel: ObamaCare overreaches, but feds should address healthcare

A candidate who has called for a "full repeal" of the Affordable Care Act--characterizing it as an "overreaching federal program"--once argued in favor of a federal health care solution. David Perdue spoke of the need for a federal solution to the nation's high uninsured rate in 2006 at a meeting of the Retail Industry Leaders Association: "It's a tragedy that so many people are uninsured," Perdue said, adding that he did not want the issue left to the states: "It needs to be addressed at the federal level."

A spokesman for Perdue's campaign said that there was no conflict in Perdue's previous support for the idea of a federal health care law and his current opposition to ObamaCare. "David supports the full repeal of ObamaCare," the spokesman said. "However, he along with many other Republicans recognize that there are issues that must be addressed at the federal level. For example, Georgia Congressman Dr. Tom Price has a great patient-centered alternative to replace ObamaCare."

Source: Huffington Post on 2014 Georgia Senate race Mar 10, 2014

Karen Handel: ObamaCare canceled my wife's policy & doubled premiums

Perdue has been critical of the health care law throughout his Senate bid. The candidate's website calls it "an overreaching federal program that will actually reduce the quality of health care and increase costs."

In January, Perdue wrote in a blog post that he and his wife's health insurance was canceled and their insurance premium doubled because of the Affordable Care Act.

"We did not have a 'substandard' plan with a second rate company," Perdue wrote. "We had done our research and picked a plan that met our needs. However, our federal government, in its infinite wisdom, decided that we grandparents needed maternity coverage among other things."

Source: Huffington Post on 2014 Georgia Senate race Mar 10, 2014

Michelle Nunn: Add a tier of affordable coverage to ObamaCare

Q. How hard is it to run on ObamaCare?

A: I am running as someone who ran an organization and understands the responsibilities and the difficulties of providing health care for employees. I also believe that we need to fix what's broken and there are clearly some things that have not worked well in the Affordable Care Act rollout. Some ideas include adding a tier of coverage for more affordability for families, ensuring that we extend the tax credit for small businesses. Here in Georgia--because we did not accept Medicaid expansion--a number of our rural hospitals are now having cuts that are really problematic. So I am running as someone who wants to fix the things that are broken in the health care system and build upon the things that are good, including ensuring that people who have preexisting conditions have access to health care, that kids up to age 26 have the opportunity to be covered by their parents.

Source: Time Magazine interview on 2014 Georgia Senate race Mar 6, 2014

Nathan Deal: Guaranteed ER room treatment means excessive ER visits

Gov. Nathan Deal has often called on Congress to reconsider the Affordable Care Act. But on Monday evening, he pushed his former Washington colleagues to revisit a separate health care law that fewer politicians openly critique. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act is a 1986 law that requires hospitals to provide emergency health care treatment to anyone who needs it, regardless of citizenship or their ability to pay. It's provided life-saving care to countless people, but it's also strained hospital resources and turned emergency rooms into the first stop, instead of a last resort, for some.

"If they really want to get serious about lowering the cost of health care in this country, they would revisit another federal statute," Deal told the crowd. "It came as a result of bad facts, and bad facts make bad law. I think we should be able to figure out ways to deal with those situations but not have the excessive costs associated with unnecessary visits to the emergency room."

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution: 2014 Georgia governor's race Feb 25, 2014

Nathan Deal: Refuses to expand Medicaid rolls under ObamaCare

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act of 1986, which requires hospitals to provide emergency health care treatment to anyone who needs it, regardless of citizenship or their ability to pay, is an important topic for Deal, given that many hospitals in rural Georgia are caught in the financial pinch caused by the governor's refusal to expand Medicaid rolls, and the Affordable Care Act's reduction of federal cash for indigent care.
Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution: 2014 Georgia governor's race Feb 25, 2014

Karen Handel: Embrace threat of federal shutdown to defund ObamaCare

Nearly every Republican candidate running for Senate in 2014 backs the GOP's push to use the threat of a government shutdown to defund ObamaCare--a sign of how popular they believe the plan is with conservative primary voters. Those supporting the GOP strategy include North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis (R), the GOP frontrunner to face Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), who said he supported the GOP's brinkmanship because ObamaCare is a "mortal threat to our economy."

Others to embrace the plan include former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel (R), former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R), who is the likely Republican nominee to run for retiring Sen. Carl Levin's (R-Mich.) seat, and Alaska Tea Party candidate Joe Miller (R).

GOP operatives say there's little downside for candidates to embrace the "defund" movement--especially those who are facing primary opponents. For Senate candidates who aren't already in Congress, especially, there's little political danger.

Source: The Hill on 2014 Georgia Senate debate Sep 22, 2013

Nathan Deal: ObamaCare will cost Georgia $2.5B over next ten years

The overreaching federal health care legislation will greatly add to the burden that we face. In fact, it will add approximately 650,000 Georgians to the Medicaid rolls. This mandated expansion of service will cost Georgia Medicaid an additional $2.5 billion in State funds alone over the next ten years. The Obama Administration has placed onerous Maintenance of Effort requirements as well, which have severely tied our hands with respect to managing our state Medicaid program.
Source: 2011 Georgia State of the State Address Jan 12, 2011

Sonny Perdue: $70M for moral obligation to serve those with disabilities

We have developed a plan that will stabilize hospital staffing and improve care in our institutions. Yes, it will cost more money, but I am confident the additional investment will result in better outcomes for patients.

I want to be clear, my interes is not driven purely by legal mandates, but from my own personal belief that we have a moral obligation to serve those with disabilities. We are our brothers' keepers.

That obligation should carry a tangible effort. It's a hard thing to do in these budget times... the budgets that I will release on Friday will include additional investment--$20 million in 2010 and over $50 million in 2011.

Together, we are making concerted efforts to do the right thing for this vulnerable population. I ask for your continued support as well as that of our consumers, providers, advocates, families and communities to help us develop a system of care of which we can be proud.

Source: Georgia 2010 State of the State Address Jan 13, 2010

Jim Martin: All children must have access to health care

There are lots of different approaches to universal health care in this country and the next Congress is going to have to deal with that problem. I believe that all children must have access to health care. At the federal level, we need to negotiate with drug companies about the price of drugs we provide to senior citizens under Medicare. That has been specifically prohibited by the United States Congress and itís cost taxpayers over 10 billion dollars every year.
Source: Georgia 2008 Democratic Senate Primary Debate Jun 30, 2008

Jim Martin: Part of team that created the PeachCare Act

VERNON JONES: Jim Martin and I were part of the team that created the PeachCare Act. We provided children with health insurance. We provided pre-dental care to children who were afraid to smile because their teeth were in disarray. I have a record of helping young children getting health care.
Source: Georgia 2008 Democratic Senate Primary Debate Jun 30, 2008

Vernon Jones: Part of team that created the PeachCare Act

Jim Martin and I were part of the team that created the PeachCare Act. We provided children with health insurance. We provided pre-dental care to children who were afraid to smile because their teeth were in disarray. I have a record of helping young children getting health care.
Source: Georgia 2008 Democratic Senate Primary Debate Jun 30, 2008

Vernon Jones: Put quality of life over profit margins

There are 1.7 million men, women and children in Georgia who are without healthcare. Affordable and accessible healthcare must be provided to all citizens. And, we need to hold accountable insurance companies who systematically deny coverage when it comes to certain medical procedures. Quality of life should be more important than their profit margins.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, vernonjonesforgeorgia.com May 2, 2008

Zell Miller: Providing insurance for children is a top priority

In the area of human resources, the most important program is the Childrenís Health Insurance Program. It will leverage federal matching funds, and could provide health coverage for as many as 228,000 Georgia children. CHIP will expand Medicaid coverage for pregnant women and children from birth to age five, up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $32,100 a year for a family of four.
Source: Budget Address, Georgia Jan 13, 1998

  • The above quotations are from State of Georgia Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Health Care:
  Republicans:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Democrats:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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