Podcast with State Rep. Tom Graves, candidate for Congress

Last night, I spoke with State Rep. Tom Graves in what I hope to be the first of several podcasts with candidates running for office here in Georgia. As you know, Graves is running for Congress in Georgia’s Ninth Congressional District in a crowded Republican field.

Among topics discussed:

You can download the podcast here (17:29 minutes/16 MB). Intro music is “The Camper Velourium I: Faint of Hearts” by Coheed and Cambria.


  1. Part-Time Atlanta says:

    Just finished listening to the entire podcast. I’m already a Graves supporter but wanted to hear how he did in the interview. I thought he came across well and down to earth. He answered the questions directly. Jason also did a good job with the interview. When I saw it was going to be 17+ minutes I figured I’d get bored, but I actually enjoyed the interview. Thanks guys. Looking forward to more interviews with other candidates.

  2. polisavvy says:

    You did a wonderful job, Jason. I am really looking forward to the other interviews to come. You asked the questions that need to be asked. Once again, great job!! 🙂

  3. Here’s what I don’t like about buying insurance across state lines. Let’s say this bill passed and Georgians could buy plans that Alabama has approved. Among other things, Alabama doesn’t mandate autism coverage even though the cost of covering autism treatment adds less than 1% to the total cost of the plan.

    So a guy like me says no big deal, I don’t have any children or any children with autism. Fast forward 5 years and lets say I have a kid. And let’s say that kid has autism. Guess what? All that insurance I’ve been paying for the last 5 years is no good. Doesn’t have autism coverage. So now I decide I’m going to switch to a Georgia plan that does mandate autism coverage. Oops, either there are no more of those plans left (because everyone decided to buy Alabama plans to save $50 and insurers decided to leave the Georgia market) or the Georgia plan now tells me that my child’s autism is a pre-existing condition and they aren’t interested in covering me.

    Now, what makes more sense would be for Georgia to form an alliance with other states and agree to standardize how plans are sold in each of those states. So Georgia could join up with say Louisiana, Illinios and North Carolina – three states that have similar numbers and types of mandates, and then insurers would be able to save money by marketing the same plan in all 4 states, but Georgia consumers would still be protected because they would still be buying a plan that for example covered autism or bone marrow transplants instead of a “cheap” plan that turns out to be not cheap but worthless when they actually get sick because the particular sickness or coverage that they need isn’t covered by it because some insurance company or industry bribed regulators and legislators in that state to eliminate it from their plans.

    By the way Republicans in Congress had by my count 12 years to either reform the insurance marketplace or incentivize states to do just this and decided it wasn’t a priority and now want to offer up useless provisions like buying insurance from other states that would just lead to a race to the bottom in quality.

    • ByteMe says:

      Gee, it sounds like you actually thought about this.

      Consider also this: plans are still going to be regulated by each state. So state legislatures then race to see which one can remove as many requirements so that more insurance companies move their plans to their state. Who exactly is the winner here?

      Or this: the fastest way for an insurance company to enter another market is to buy the biggest provider in that market (with debt, of course). Now let’s say they keep doing that for a few years to create a monster insurance firm covering millions of people across, say, 10 states.

      Now let’s say that insurance company makes some bad bets on their real estate investments (yes, this happened last year). So that now too-big-to-fail firm starts to falter, possibly leaving millions without any coverage. What’s a politician to do when their constituents call by the hundreds of thousands? Save the Too-Big-To-Fail using taxpayer money or let them go broke and get voted out on the next cycle for letting this happen? Decisions, decisions.

      Just ask the newly merged Bell companies… breaking up is hard, but getting back together just requires a hall pass from the Feds.

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