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 on Friday 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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Bob November 24, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Nathan Deal care more about the failed ideology of his party than he does the people of his state.
michelle litton November 24, 2012 at 08:41 PM
We as state should vote him down!
Pam J November 24, 2012 at 10:58 PM
I have e-mailed the governor and told him that he does not care about people who are unemployed or people who cannot afford high insurance premiums. I hate that this state became Republican. We need to get back to where we care about the people who have hit hard times through no fault of their own. With this governor, it ain't gonna happen.
Kenneth Buxton November 25, 2012 at 02:52 PM
I would like to know what the governor means by this statement: "I remain committed to common sense health care solutions that empower consumers to take responsibility for their own health..." What "common sense" solution will the governor advocate that empowers "consumers" who have totally insufficient funds, or who are underemployed, or who have preexisting conditions TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY? You do realize how condescending and insulting this statement is?
Frank Rambo November 27, 2012 at 04:26 AM
The idea of the exchanges is to do just what the governor says he wants. The exchange set up by Gov. Romney's program in Massachusetts gives consumers the ability to choose affordable plans that are right for them. All Deal has to do is open his eyes and look at a program that seems to be working pretty well for most of the citizens of that state. We in Georgia deserve no less.


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