The Opt-Out

The Augusta Chronicle as a run down of how the GOP candidates stand on the opt-out that is being proposed for Obamacare.

The opt-out idea drew a mixed response from the cast of candidates for Georgia governor.

Secretary of State Karen Handel said she does not think the Reid plan will pass, but if it does, “I believe Georgia would be better off if we could opt out of the whole thing.”

But taxpayers still would be on the hook even in states that opt out, she said.
State Sen. Eric Johnson, R-Savannah, said he is leaning toward opting out.
Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine has made opposition to Democratic health care reform a centerpiece of his campaign. He initially said he would opt out but revised his position and said he would not if Georgians still had to foot the bill for health care reform.

A spokesman for state Rep. Austin Scott, R-Tifton, said Mr. Scott would need to review the final legislation before commenting. U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, a vocal Republican critic of Democratic reform proposals in Congress, did not respond to a request for comment.


  1. kyleinatl says:

    “I believe Georgia would be better off if we could opt out of the whole thing.”

    I guess the Secretary of State either isn’t aware, or doesn’t particularly care about the fact that the House version of the bill will also get a Federal High Risk pool up and running in 2010, something that the state can’t bother with apparently.

    Say what you will about the Federal efforts to reform Healthcare, until the state legislature actually proposes some type of reform to counter it, we’ll continue to languish in the bottom rankings for states in Healthcare delivery. Georgia’s lack of healthcare options for people with chronic conditions is shocking and irresponsible.

    • Holly says:

      It should change Peachcare rather significantly. Under H.R. 3962, Medicaid is extended to individuals whose incomes are 150% of the federal poverty line, meaning that many children under Peachcare will be moved to Medicaid instead. Families earning between 150% to 400% of the federal poverty line will be eligible for subsidies to purchase private plans available in the new state exchanges. (Theoretically, I think these subsidies are available for the public option, too, but I’ve not read through the entire bill yet.)

  2. ByteMe says:

    So, does opting out = do nothing different and get the same poor results we currently get for our overpriced healthcare dollar? How will businesses here appreciate that as they compete for talent with other states where they opt-in and lower their healthcare costs?

    Pandering is easy. Finding and getting acceptance for a solution is hard.

  3. ChiefofStaff65 says:

    I wonder out of all the campaigns who responded, how many of them have read the bill, or are they merely working off GOP talking points? I respect those who do not give an immediate sound bite and instead actually read the legislation before coming to a conclusion and offering fresh solutions.

    • ByteMe says:

      You’re really laying down the gauntlet for them. Don’t be surprised when you find that you can’t respect any of them.

    • benevolus says:

      It is unrealistic to expect every legislator to read and understand every bill they vote on. Some of the stuff that comes before them is very technical and very complicated, and even experts might disagree about the implications.

      I was disappointed in the Obama campaign’s demonization of lobbyists, because this is something they can and should do- explain their side of an issue to legislators. Legislators must then have the ability to sort out what they have heard- much like a judge.

    • Holly says:

      Do you know how long it takes to read 1,990 pages of legal mumbo-jumbo, let alone make sense of it? I doubt anyone (other than committee health staffers) has finished reading it yet.

        • Holly says:

          Obviously, I’m aware that there’s a reason bills are written in formal legal language. That does not, however, make them easy to read for someone (like me) without formal legal training. I find myself reading and rereading a passage to understand the full implications.

          Whether or not the bill should be this complex is another matter entirely. Unfortunately for the Democrats, they started off with a complex idea that’s not easily explained in normal language. Put it into legal terms, and you have 1,990 pages that few have read and fewer understand. Now you’re basically asking Americans to trust you that it will work. Good luck to them.

  4. Harry says:

    Let’s hope the final version doesn’t contain uneconomic public options, opt outs for states, and opt outs for unions, lawyers, and government workers. As it stands, the percentage of GDP spent on healthcare will increase, not decrease. Obamacare will sink from carrying too much ballast. It’s a Democrat baby.

  5. Game Fan says:

    How about they separate the reform bills from the spending bills? How are you going to get reform when they keep writing blank checks? And why is reform so dang expensive? This is like throwing Bonnie and Clyde a couple of extra machine guns.

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