Heath Care Exchanges First Casualty Of Crossover Day

HB 476, a bill creating Health Care exchanges which would allow for larger pools of insured patients (thus spreading risk and lowering costs), will be pulled from the House calendar today.

Because the exchanges are mandated by “Obamacare”, they are dead to a large number of skiddish legislators who believe they must not in any way be associated with a federal takeover of healthcare.  This reaction is especially disappointing because this was the opportunity for Georgia to create a beneficial exchange on our terms.  If not done by next January, Federal Health Care reform mandates the federal government to create an exchange for Georgia, on their terms.  This is providing that the act is not declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

My hope is that legislators use the “off-season” to educate themselves on the benefits of the exchange, and in turn, educate their voters on the benefits of Georgia setting up such a mechanism.  Kyle Wingfield wrote an excellent piece on the right way to do this, modeling our efforts after Utah

This is the kind of common sense health care reform that used to be often recommended (but never acted on) by Republicans.  It’s good for consumers, and great for small businesses.  The kind of thing that Republicans claim to stand for.  Yet, it was part of the 2,000+ pages mandated by Obama, and thus, is now dead to us.

After letting it stew for a few months, my hope is that Republicans will think better of it, rename it anything but “heath exchanges” or anything required by the federal health care reform act, and try again claiming the idea as our own.


    • B Balz says:

      Mornin’ Debbie!

      DebbieSpeak: Obamacare
      Law: PPACA

      I was typing as you were posting. There is merit to the article you quote, yet, I ask, “Is it not worth spending the time and money on a backup, instead of hoping that events you cannot control (A Supreme Court decision) work in your favor?”

      The GOP failed to make reducing the healthcare cost curve happen. Our Governor worked VERY HARD to make things happen in WDC. I was there reading the Bills he authored with Cong. Burgess, MD. Due to partisan nonsense, we get PPACA, which also fails to address the issue of reducing healthcare costs.

      Some are are so imbued with partisanship that they are unable to see that we are going to fail as a Nation unless WE act together. It is not about ‘they’ anymore, this Nation has an ‘event horizon’ of about five years or less before we see the very real possibility of US default on it’s unsustainable debt.

      Cong. Woodall writes:

      “… The bad news came from a Budget Committee hearing. As you may know, I sit on the Budget Committee, and this week we had a hearing on the crushing burden of our debt. The panel of economists and think tank leaders agreed that America has five years or less to correct its record deficits before the world credit markets simply cut us off. …”

      • debbie0040 says:

        There was no need to rush it now. They have time to address it in the 2012 session. We want to keep fighting as long as possible.. Once the ball starts rolling, it is hard to stop it sometimes. We kept asking it be put off until the 2012 session to see what the SC does…

        • B Balz says:

          I am hearing you. Are you listening?

          “We want to keep fighting as long as possible.” With all respect for your many years of service and hard work, the time for fighting is over. Until BOTH sides realize this, a DIVIDED Nation shall fail.

          Not arguing with you…everyone must recognize, including our Blue neighbors, that time for ‘a’fightin’ has left the barn. WE better get serious about resolution or we are just rearranging Titanic deck chairs.

        • KD_fiscal conservative says:


          I would like to think you guys aren’t are hard headed as everyone keeps saying. The exchanges are GOOD for Georgia. They provide a FREE-MARKET solution and get PRIVATE insurance cos. to compete to provide affordable heath insurance. Why do you have this us vs them mentality without even trying to understand health-care reform situation? Its really easy to listen to sound bits, and blindly fight just for the sake of fighting, while making yourself believe your “advancing freedom,” but the honestly go through the bill, and review different types of health reform options takes a lot more work.

          • SOGTP says:

            KD that is ridiculous. Healthcare exchanges will limit competition, because only favored insurance companies will be allowed to participate. Government must stay out of it. Right no it is government that limits insurance companies that can set up shop in the State of Georgia. When ever government in involved it skews the Free Market and causes prices to rise and choices to be limited.

    • saltycracker says:

      And the bio for Dr. Tamzin talks about her dogs vet making more than doctors –
      so she is coming from a premise that Docs don’t make enough ?

      • KD_fiscal conservative says:

        Actually many vets do make more then primary care doc, plus vets don’t have to worry about lawsuits, dealing with insurances or gov’t regulation uncertainly.

  1. B Balz says:

    I just read this from the AJC:

    “…Atlanta Tea Party leader Debbie Dooley credited a barrage of phone protests from various tea party groups across the state. She and another leader, Julianne Thompson, met Tuesday with state Reps. Ed Lindsey, R-Atlanta, Donna Shelton, R-Dacula, and Richard Smith, R-Columbus, and representatives of Gov. Nathan Deal. …”

    Now, I think that Ms. Dooley is a regular around here…and so I am speaking directly to her, if she is a’listenin’: Don’t HELP me anymore please.

    BACKUPS ARE IMPORTANT. It is one of those little phrases I live by.

    Most prudent, pragmatic folk have fresh batteries in a flashlight, maybe a few even have an emergency radio, fewer still, water, rice, and beans. And I would guess, many have a weapon, with ample ammo. All of these items are good backups in case of the unexpected.

    So, the Tea Party (TP) has claimed it’s first scalp, according to Jimmy Galloway, eh? Congrats on earning a reference to the bloody, despicable, practice of a desperate indigenous people. Indeed, in my opinion, the TP has done all Georgians a terrible disservice.

    Even if you fervently believe the PPACA is the most egregious law ever passed, it is IN FACT, the law. (BTW, I think that PPACA is a very poor solution to a problem that the GOP ignored, and for that, Ms. Dooley, your GOP may take a bow. ) Now, the Supreme Court (SC) may hear the PPACA case as late as November. That case, learned lawyers forgive my layperson’s shorthand summary, will decide if only one bit of PPACA is legal: The individual mandate.

    The individual mandate (Can the Feds legally compel a Citizen to buy something) is the key to providing enough premiums from healthy people to insure the sick. I don’t like it. I don’t even many substantial portions of the PPACA. Except for the FACT, that AS LAW, and until the SC MAY strike it down, a prudent, MODERATE State would discuss healthcare exchanges on their terms.

    It makes sense to for Georgians to discuss exchanges in Georgia, by Georgians, instead of not having a BACKUP, and submit to FED designed exchange.

    I understand the TP mentality and in many cases, agree with the anger and frustration they feel. This is one case where I think anger and frustration is worse than any PPACA usurpations. By not addressing exchanges, we leave our future to the Feds if the Supreme Court decides to uphold current law.

    • KD_fiscal conservative says:

      The TP is starting to get beyond ridiculous. The simpleton reactionary used to be a loosely organized bunch, but now that they are organized, they are starting to cause problems. Not only in the “internal GOP affairs” but most importantly, but now they are being completely unreasonable with the healthcare bill. The bill is more of a “symbol” of socialism, Marxism, Nazism, and just about and other “-ism” you can think of. to them. I wonder, if they understand regardless of the outcome of the SC case or the 2012 election(neither of which is guaranteed to be in our favor) Georgia needs to start get on the ball with the health care reform bill. If its defeated, the state will already have gotten knowledge about different exchange options, BUT if its not(and at this point this seems to equally, or maybe more likely) we will be so behind in the process, the state will have NO WAY to opt. out of the mandate, as well as other repercussions for the state(ie MORE FEDERAL CONTROL). But this type of thought would require critical thinking, not a mob like mentality.

      But I am still hopeful the TP will rethink this thing in a reasonable way and think about what will happen if the SC declares it Constitutional(it will basically come down to Justice Kennedy), and state is so far behind, the feds essentially take over.

      • rut roh says:

        “but now that they are organized, they are starting to cause problems.”

        Rut-roh! Shaggy, does this mean an unorganized/chaotic TP is “good” while an organized/effective TP is “bad”??? And, if so, bad for whom?

        pant-pant-pant…need a Scooby-snack now, please!

    • SOGTP says:

      If Obamacare is unconstitutional, which it is deemed to be then the State of Georgia would be committing a felony spending money on its implementation.

  2. debbie0040 says:

    BBALTZ, PPACA has no severabilty clause so if the individual mandate is ruled Un-Constitutional, the entire law is struck down. We know that a Federal Appeals Court will begin hearing oral arguments on one of the cases around May 10th. The Florida case has been fast tracked.

    There is time for the legislature to address healthcare exchanges in the 2012 session if ObamaCare is not ruled Un-Constitutional, there was no need to rush it now.
    I would encourage you to read the information int he link above.

    • B Balz says:

      I have, SEE above.

      Business hates uncertainty, and PPACA adds plenty of it, the exchanges are too complex…

      But to simply shut down the process seems imprudent, I disagree with your assesment about rushing the process, ‘things always take longer than we expect.

      So, what is the GOP ‘plan’ if PPACA is struck down by the SC? As I recall portions of the PPACA cannot be voted out. (I hate that part of PPACA, but I DO recall reading it.)

      I am all about ‘replace’, anything written about same?

  3. Harry says:

    B Balz, what’s your opinion about this commentary from Bill Simon’s “Political Vine”…

    HB 476’s Embedded Poison Pill

    In our mis-named “Crossover Day Minus One” newsletter issued last week on Thursday, we had a blurb about HB 476 which was in the legislative hopper on the House side. (Late-night non-thinking by our “headline-writing intern” caused the error on when Crossover Day really was. It is today, not last Friday.)

    HB 476 is the mimic of Obama Care at the federal level for Georgians to come under. One of our sharp-eyed readers took a close look at HB 476 and discovered a poison pill hidden in it, and notified us….

    {The rest of this comment has been removed, as it is an entire editorial from another source. See extended comments below}

    • Charlie says:

      I stopped reading after the first sentence.

      The general opinion is that Mr. Simon sells his opinions to the highest bidder, which sadly, isn’t usually that high. He’s also among the few that has been banned from Peach Pundit for repetitively trying to bully commenters who disagreed with his opinions, which were paid for.

      As such, I’ll be happy to re-read and discuss the merits of any proposal, but we will not feature Mr. Simon’s commentary on Peach Pundit., and I’m stripping your post which printed his entire commentary as I do not wish to steal his “intellectual” property.

  4. B Balz says:

    By definition, the business term ‘poison pill’ means: A strategy used by corporations to discourage hostile takeovers.

    As I read it, the ever-hyperbolic Mr. Simon suggests that overriding the protections offered by Chapter 13 of Title 50, the ‘Georgia Administrative Procedure Act’ is a ‘poison pill’. If so, inclusion of lines 118-120 of HB 476 would discourage passage of HB476.

    Why would Reps. Smith and Meadows, sponsors of HB 476 insert language that would ‘poison’ an alternative to PPACA in Georgia? Did they think nobody would read the Bill? That is a nasty implication.

    Or did they not wish to have Georgia get more involved in the ‘healthcare business’ after Mr. Obama offered States an alternative to PPACA? That implies an unwillingness to address health care at the State level. (Some may wish to believe that is OK, but I do not.)

    What are your thoughts?

    • Harry says:

      We can all agree that basic health-care reform is needed. As I previously posted, the USA life expectancy is now the same as Chile’s, but we spend seven (7) times more on healthcare than Chile does. Obamacare failed to eliminate any of the systemic inefficiencies. In fact, the legislation buckled under to the demands of every single special interest group – Doctors, Hospital Companies, Insurers, Lawyers, Drug Companies. Now they’re passing out exemptions for unions, government and quasi-government workers, protected industries, etc. So it seems small business and taxpayers are supposed to end up holding the bag. Everybody wants something for nothing and the golden goose is dead. The only thing we all need to do is plan our exit strategy from this madness.

      • B Balz says:

        Things are not working out the way any of us would have predicted, or have they?:

        “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.”

        The earliest known appearance of this quote was December 9, 1951, in what appears to be an op-ed piece in The Daily Oklahoman under the byline Elmer T. Peterson. It has also been attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville

  5. KD_fiscal conservative says:

    Charlie B Balz, good points. I was planning on lobbying as many legislators that I know personally and can get in touch with during the “off-season.” I hope other reasonable people who understand the benefits of a free-market, state based, health care reform will do the same.

  6. bowersville says:

    “I hope other reasonable people who understand the benefits of a free-market, state based, health care reform will do the same.”

    Oh they will, it’s called the ballot box. If HB 476 delivered LOWER COSTS for health care as advertised how long does the Tea Party believe they can convince people to vote against their own self interests by screaming Marxist, Kenyan, Obama lover, Obamacare?

        • KD_fiscal conservative says:

          Correction: You wish “what’s going to fade into Obscurity is the relevance of Obamacare..”

          But as you already found out with the sunday sales bill, you wishes don’t always come ture

          • Harry says:

            Maybe not, but whether Obamacare is sustained or not it will be irrelevant because it doesn’t adhere to economic reality or equity. See my above comment posted at 2.19 pm.

          • B Balz says:

            Sunday Sales is the bellwether showing that some of our views on ‘morality’ are subject to a balanced budget.

          • B Balz says:

            I think Harry has several good points, KD. If PPACA were not passed in such an un-American manner, so many specialty groups were carved out of regs, and the healthcare cost curve were actually addressed, we would not see the current uproar.

            America will either ‘grow-up’ in the next few years or we will rue the consequences.

          • bowersville says:

            Harry, I’m not talking about Obamacare. Can you not get it? I’m talking about HB 476. Try to pay attention. You make valid arguments as Balz has stated, but please separate the Obamacare rhetoric and HB 476.

            If you know of a reason other than Obamacare, etc. as a reason for HB 476 not to come to a vote. I’d like to hear it. So far Charlie’s statement of lowering health care cost by creating a larger pool is carrying the day for me.

            • Harry says:

              It’s never good to play into a bad idea – it facilitates the implementation of the bad idea. Let’s wait and see how things develop.

            • KD_fiscal conservative says:

              B Balz,

              I completely agree, the democrats were stupid to pass such massive reform with NO Republican support. But, bowerville made my point, I was talking about HB476, and at least going through with the good portions of the bill. PPACA has lots of problems, but the only potentially “catastrophic” one is the expensive expansions to Medicaid(and for some, the mandate), but other then that there really isn’t a reason for mass hysteria.

  7. debbie0040 says:

    Bowersville, if it were a free market exchange with terms not dictated by the federal government, it would be a different story. The type of exchange allowed under ObamaCare is not a free market exchange so do not even attempt to give me that crap. It comes with stipulations that are unacceptible and Un-Constitutional


    “Regardless of which entity sets up the exchange, the Department of Health and Human Services is given power to determine minimum requirements for medical services of all kinds, including the people who provide the services, as well as what the patient pays. The head of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners task force on exchanges has called for banning the sale of individual insurance policies, possibly because these exchanges bring new complexities of security, integration, processing, updating and verifying information concerning eligibility, income, billing, and exemptions, among companies, states and state agencies, the IRS, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Social Security Administration, just to name some of the complexities.

    Eligibility for ObamaCare’s health insurance subsidies depends on income, so there will be an intrusive verification of income, family size, smoking status, and so on.

    The exchanges themselves cost tax money to set up, but the bill requires them to be self-sustaining. Since the bill mandates requirements that many companies and customers will likely find distasteful, the exchanges embody a fundamental instability, which nothing but force can resolve.

    If ObamaCare persists, exchanges will be bureaucratic nightmares. If it is repealed or declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, states that set up exchanges will just have wasted time, money, and effort. ”

    The GOP leadership kept telling activists that it was just a study committee being set up and we knew better.
    We expect our elected officials to uphold the Constitution. You don’t win many battles by waving a white flag with one hand and fighting with the other hand and that is what the officials were doing in introducing HB 476. We asked them to wait until 2012 and see how the courts rule on ObamaCare. They seem to think there was an urgent need to pass it now and we disagreed.

    The feds have to approve the health care exchange set up by the states. Next thing I expect to hear from some of you is that ObamaCare is a free market solution to our health care problems.

    • bowersville says:

      Then what is your alternative plan? We can’t afford to stay on the unsustainable path we were on prior to Obamacare nor can we afford Obamacare. Are you proposing just saying no? I hope not.

    • B Balz says:

      [Typing while B-ville was posting]

      What I hear in your posts is not ‘no’, but ‘no’ let’s hold our powder dry and see what happens with the Supreme Court. I will say that much is encouraging.

      What I do not believe for one second, is that there is any GOP-based ‘replacement plan’ to PPACA. Not only is that bad for America, it will be a potential Donnybrook for the GOP. Bad for America because the uncontrolled rise in medical care is a business/social issue that will consume us. Bad for the GOP because we will look like the Party of ‘NO’ in 2012. Maybe we will prevail, if not, the second term of Mr. Obama will be predictable.

      [PPACA] is most definitely NOT a ‘… a free market solution to our health care problems. …” but it has advanced the HC question to the National stage. In the EIGHT years the GOP had control, the crucial question of HC was not advanced. That is irresponsible.

      We witness the battlefield mentality of a portion of GA GOP represented by Ms. Dooley in one State, add to that 49 other States and the solution matrix grows. I wonder what those like Ms. Dooley will be saying five years from now if Rep. Woodall’s dire predictions appear?

    • griftdrift says:

      I have a feeling that in debbie and her team’s eye, if the government touches it in any way, it’s not ” free market”. Which is neither true nor rational. We don’t have a free market now. We haven’t had one for years. The closed market we have now has done nothing to correct the ridiculously soaring health care.

      Now, I do not support all of Obamacare. But I’m rational enough to realize that there are positive elements (which I consider exchanges one), that doing nothing will lead to disaster and so far the only alternative the other side has presented is “let the [current limted] free market” rule.

      Negatively positioned arguments only carry so far with me. In my experience that is true of most independents. Eventually, you have to stop saying “his will make it worse” and starting saying “here’s why mine will make it better”.

    • John Konop says:


      … The feds have to approve the health care exchange set up by the states. Next thing I expect to hear from some of you is that ObamaCare is a free market solution to our health care problems….

      The free market argument is somewhat irrational unless we agree to not treat people who do have the money and eliminate the VA, Medicare………. That would put you on the pro-death team.

      The real issue is how we bend the cost curve before it bankrupts our country. And this idea is one step toward saving money.

  8. Clint says:

    I sure hope that these folks who are so loudly protesting the health exchanges don’t ever find themselves in a situation where they have a pre-existing condition and cannot get health insurance. It is a terrible situation.

    I must say that I was glad to see that Governor Deal was making this a priority and is committed to finding a solution moving forward.

    • B Balz says:

      Thank YOU, Clint.

      Of all the issues we discuss here, HC is truly a bipartisan issue. (Chronic disease is uncaring of your political persuasion). A terrible situation barely describes what I
      see, daily.

      Try explaining to a 24 year old young man recently diagnosed with a chronic disease that some folks, because of their religious beliefs, may very well plan to deny research that may cure him. A terrible situation is the understatement of the new millennium.

      I see good, hard working people, who have made solid educational and life choices, go bankrupt for medical reasons. The national illness support group I am most familiar with, has 15% of it’s clientele below the poverty line. We are talking about thousands of Georgians that ‘did good’ and ‘act right’ and are being put through utter despair because they got sick. That’s all that happened, they got sick.

      The cost of drug treatment only for anyone using a Tier IV therapy is huge. As high as $30-50K per year. When you listen to me discuss HC, the promise of hESC, and other topics, it is not as a pol operative or a politician. My perspective is one of a guy that got involved and is now unable to turn away from the hardship my fellow Georgians.

      So Debbie0040 use your ‘battlefield mentality’ and help me understand understand how you will help me in MY fight. Please, and thank you.

  9. saltycracker says:

    Charlie – Well said –

    Hopefully our legislators will wake up by the next session and devise Plan B to pursue State control rather than Federal control in the event complete rejection of Obamacare fails. The spectrum of health exchanges runs from Utah (free market) to Mass. (gov’t run).

    What is a mystery is why Republicans turned a blind eye to articles by The Heritage Foundation, positions by small business leaders such as the Georgia director of the National Federation of Independent Business and numerous articles in leading business magazines. Perhaps they are aligned with major corporations, insurers, providers or insurance sellers like AARP who stand to gain vs. small businesses, employees and individuals who will be paying up.

    The Tea Party heard the words obamacare and paniced without considering an end run.
    Stupid is as stupid does ?

    From a recent article from The Heritage Foundation:
    What should the States do ?


    1 State policymakers will soon have to make some big decisions about how to respond to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010.

    2 The fact that the most significant provisions of Obamacare do not take effect until 2014 means that the titanic battle over America’s health system has not reached a definitive conclusion, but shifted into a new, and even more protracted, phase.

    3 The state of Utah has tackled various areas of reform, including creation of the defined-contribution health insurance market (in contrast to the defined-benefit system), which allows businesses to offer workers the option of making a specified contribution in order to purchase health insurance of their choice.

    4 State lawmakers who want to maintain the independence of their state’s health care system and fiscal future should consider Utah’s recent experiences carefully and act accordingly.


    Other articles worth reading:



    • Harry says:

      So why didn’t HB476 just replicate the Utah legislation? We’d then have another state to look to in establishing the legal precedent.

  10. seekingtounderstand says:

    instead of politizing our health care and making the costs rise due to gov’t waste and corruption, why not just get rid of health insurance. Everyone pays for their own care and you can write off your taxes the full amount for as many years as it takes.
    Prices would fall tremendously and service would be the best.
    With the money we save, we have free government health care clinics and hosipitals for those to poor to pay.
    No more FDA driving meds costs up, no more government killing people thru denial of services.
    Insurance does not work anymore, its a corrupt service about to get more corrupted by politicans.
    Do you want doctors and nurses treated like teachers and politizied our entire health care system?
    Polticans will make more money off this than they ever did on banks or real estate.

  11. debbie0040 says:

    We would support free market health care exchanges not under the mandates set by the federal government or un-constitutional law. You guys are living in fantasy land if you think any exchange a state sets up will stand the scrutiny of Sebelius. Georgia can set up one like Utah’s all they want, but the feds can come in and change it so it will look nothing like the state intended . Why not wait and see how the courts rule ? If ObamaCare is over turned, then introduce legislation that would create a free market exchange not under the supervisions of the federal government. The exchanges do not have to be functional until January, 2014

    Isn’t taking the chance to be able to set up a true free market exchange worth waiting one year to see how the courts rule?

    I am beginning to think some of you and others may have had financial gain had HB 476 passed.

    Obamacare and the States: Freedom To Do What Sebelius Tells Them To Do

    “The PPACA requires the states to organize and operate “exchanges” through which individuals and small businesses can obtain insurance. This is a federally imposed mandate. If a state does not create an exchange that meets the federal requirements, HHS will create one for the state. Federal subsidies for the purchase of insurance and for co-payments are available only with respect to plans sold through the exchanges.

    Sebelius writes that the PPACA “gives” states the option to design and run their own exchanges. This is not true.

    PPACA specifies what functions exchanges must perform and how they operate in numerous details. HHS is required to set “standards” for their operation. The federal government sets the requirements for what exchanges do and how they function. This is a far cry from being able to design and run the exchanges as they wish.”


    • Harry says:

      Debbie, thanks for the education on this topic. Obamacare as it’s implemented is sounding more and more like a communist society. Sure, you states can operate a “cooperative” just so long as you operate it “our” way and there’s no recourse available to appeal your grievances.

    • kyleinatl says:

      “I am beginning to think some of you and others may have had financial gain had HB 476 passed.”

      Wow…I normally at least respect your viewpoints, but Debbie, you’ve taken it a step too far here.

      Perhaps instead of inferring that supporters of Exchange legislation must have had some kind of financial gain from bill passage, you could realize that some of us just disagree with your opinions, average citizens and all. And perhaps even, we have some personal experience with the radical abuses in cost shifting that the health insurance industry has inflicted upon its sickest beneficiaries.

      Have you ever been priced out of health care before? You ever reached an annual benefit max before? Ever experienced “rescission”? Ever experience medical bankruptcy? Ever been deemed uninsurable?

      These are hard questions that I feel any opponents of health care reform should really think about for five minutes or so. There are REAL people that affected by this every day, and I’m sorry to say, but your free market ideal, while wonderful in theory, simply does not work in the one industry where demand doesn’t cut costs.

      People with chronic illnesses are money losers for the industry, and what does industry like to do with the things that cost them more money than they bring in? They push it away. To say otherwise would be intellectually dishonest.

      • SOGTP says:

        @kylinatl. “Have you ever been priced out of health care before? You ever reached an annual benefit max before? Ever experienced “rescission”? Ever experience medical bankruptcy? Ever been deemed uninsurable?”

        Why actually YES. I’ve also had so little money that my dinner was spoonfuls of peanut butter and hot tea. But, I didn’t wish for the government to bail me out with other peoples money. I kept plugging and in the end I was able to afford all of this.

        Obamacare is simply a mechanism to re distribute wealth from the productive and give it to the parasites and in this case not the poorest among us. The parasites are the big insurance companies, IT companies, and bureaucrats that will get rich off of those of us willing to work and make a living for our families.

        • kyleinatl says:

          Good for you! Feel free to tell people that are completely and utterly crippled by chronic illness that they have to keep plugging away…I’m sure that’ll go over great.

          Insurance needs to actually act like insurance, if you pay your premiums and you didn’t lie on your application, when the time comes, the companies need to pay up and not take it out on you, the consumer.

          • B Balz says:

            So, Mr. Hanley you are a real ‘bootstrapper.’ A peanut butter eating, hot tea loving man, are you? If you win your quest for GA GOP you will control millions of GOP dollars. How much will be used to help improve the lives of good Republicans?

            This is real excerpt of an email I received. The names of the actual companies and disease are changed. The email is from a GA GOP voter. If you win your quest, how would you use the millions in GOP campaign dollars to improve this person’s life?

            “One of several financial hits that a diagnoses of ABC disease brings on. What about the financial loss to “Big Brother [IRS]” that comes about when we lose or jobs and are forced to go on Disability? Due to the effects of my ABC, I had to give up my $85,000.00 + bonuses M-F job. My family has been close to bankruptcy on several occasions after [that].

            To top that one, because XYZ company decided to play their corporate games and “sell” my Husband to 123 company, I lost a $500,000.00 Life Insurance policy that I had been paying premiums on for almost 10 years. 123 company would NOT intercede when their Insurance company Underwriters refused to continue the policy because I have ABC. Their underwriters (and most of the major insurers) use ABC as a reason to cancel or deny policies.

            And they tell us ABC is NOT a fatal disease. ”

            First, seek to understand, Mr. Hanley. Real people, real problems.

            One cannot pull themselves up by their bootstraps when one is sick. Not even peanut butter and hot tea will help.

      • debbie0040 says:

        I have no doubt that some that post on this site work for insurance companies or are lobbyists for insurances companies. Some may work for elected officials that was counting on campaign contributions from lobbyists for the insurance industry.. That was who I directed the financial gain statement at . I also believe that in this budget crisis, some were looking at the federal funds they would be receiving to set up this exchange.

        I will also point out that some of you are pretty hypocritical. If memory serves me correctly, there has been legislation introduced in past sessions that would setup free market exchanges and I don’t recall it receiving the support that HB 476 did from the GOP House leadership….

    • SOGTP says:

      @Debbie. Thumbs up.

      Implementation of any facet of Obamacare is a tacit admission that you believe in the power of the government over the individual. Government should not do anything an individual in our society can do. Government has ABSOLUTELY NO BUSINESS in interfering in our healthcare decisions.

      Entrepreneurs would created new insurance policies, if Government would go away.

      Doctors would create new treatment plans, if Government would go away.

      And if you can’t afford to purchase a FREE Market plan – tough – save your pennies or go to charity hospitals set up by Free market contributions to take care of the poor and indigent.

      Health care is not a right. It is a service purchased by a professional that offers it, just like a haircut or accountant.

      I for one am thankful the tea partiers saved my family from this intrusion in my families life.

      • sunkawakan says:

        “Entrepreneurs would created (sic) new insurance policies if Government would go away.”

        So why haven’t they? Since the mid-1940’s, the states – courtesy of the federal government – have had exclusive control over regulation of the “business of insurance.” See the McCarran Ferguson Act.

        “Doctors would create new treatment plans, if Government would go away.”

        Oh really? You might want to look at profit-incentive among physicians. Some interesting studies have shown that when many doctors “compete,” it does indeed drive costs down, BUT, an interesting cost increase occurs, as those same doctors begin to use more complex (and expensive) procedures which actually increase the average prices per procedure/visit.

        “And if you can’t afford to purchase a FREE Market plan – tough – save your pennies…”

        Well, sir, perhaps you deserve to have a pre-existing condition. That would certainly show you that there are NO PLANS to purchase. Another little-known fact is that, in Georgia, there ARE NO child-only plans. The lovely insurance companies have stopped offering them, because they know they have to cover pre-existing conditions for kids. Essentially, if a parent whose employer doesn’t offer health insurance has a pre-existing condition, they cannot purchase coverage for their children. Perhaps Georgia allowing policies from other states might help correct this issue; perhaps not, as it seems to be a nationwide phenomena.

        What I am saying is that the so-called free markets and most states have failed utterly and totally to create reasonable solutions for health care insurance options.

        • SOGTP says:

          “So why haven’t they? Since the mid-1940′s, the states – courtesy of the federal government – have had exclusive control over regulation of the “business of insurance.” See the McCarran Ferguson Act.”

          Because governments involved. Don’t people understand. Government limits competition and punishes those who want to succeed with new products.

          The cost of healthcare goes up, because doctors are making healthcare better. If you want cheap healthcare gather up a poltice and eat natural foods.

          Everything is pre existing. You can get insurance for pre existing conditions, it just costs more.

          • sunkawakan says:

            “Because governments (sic) involved.”

            What kind of statement is that? Yes, the state regulates the business of insurance, but you’ll need to be more specific about the kinds of anti-competitive regulation. Your response is NOT a valid argument. McCarran Ferguson essentially gives insurance an opt-out from antitrust activities; how does that limit competition?

            “The cost of healthcare goes up, because doctors are making healthcare better.”

            Again, absolutely untrue. The healthcare businesses (doctors, hospitals, etc.) have made healthcare more expensive. Your comments are ignorant and naive, and are unsupported by any data.

            “Everything is pre existing. You can get insurance for pre existing conditions, it just costs more.”

            Wow, you really know how to spin out the falsehoods. No, you cannot get insurance for pre-existing conditions. The insurance companies don’t cover them, regardless of the costs.

            Now, if I didn’t find your absolute lack of factual information and denial of reality sad, I’d suggest you get psychological counseling. Or is that a pre-existing condition of yours?

  12. saltycracker says:

    Now Tea Partiers are telling me that their real oppositon was they just didn’t want the Feds in health care & they are supporting a bill introduced 3/10 – HB461 on a health care compact allowing only states to involve in health care. A late twist.

    Betting the house on complete rejection of Obamacare is risky business and it is never too early to sort out some revokable alternatives.

    As far as remarks on financial gain goes – absurb & imflamatory – I’d bet on the power of big corporations, insurance companies & providers to trump individuals, employees & small businesses, every time.

    “Georgia can set up one like Utah’s all they want, but the feds can come in and change it so it will look nothing like the state intended . ”

    Jury is out on that leap….

    How will federal health care reform impact state mandates, such as the Massachusetts Health Care Reform law?

    A. Current ERISA preemption provisions, which allow multi-state employers who self-insure their plans to operate uniform plans in all states, will likely continue. However, one aspect of the House proposal (that may apply to both insured and self-insured plans) appears to allow for state remedies and lawsuits for disputes involving employer plans. The various proposals likely will not interfere with current state mandates applicable to insured plans, and they may grant additional authorities to states to regulate insurance exchanges and the marketing and operation of insured plans in general. States that impose benefit mandates or other matters beyond any new federal rights will likely continue to be allowed to do so, but such requirements would presumably not apply to self-insured employer plans. It is not clear exactly whether Massachusetts-like state reform will be necessary or relevant after enactment of comprehensive federal health reform, but it is also not clear that such would be prohibited either.

    • debbie0040 says:

      Salty, you should make an attempt to get your facts straight on HB 461. A health care (interstate compacts) is a way for Georgia to opt out of ObamaCare for Georgia.

      Pretty easy to see who you work for in the Gold Dome…

      • Charlie says:

        Debbie, if you’re going to start making charges about how much anyone who disagrees with you gets paid, we’re going to start asking questions about how much money certain Tea Party activisits got paid out of that 7-figure donation you guys got last year, deal?

        And, by the way, I get no funds from either the insurance industry, or even this website.

        • debbie0040 says:

          I am not saying everyone that disagree with our position on 476 stodd to gain financially from 476 passing. There are some that would have and it is ridiculous to think otherwise. I am sure the campaign contributions and federal dollars would have come rolling in if 476 had passed. Gov. Deal heard the voice of the people and he pulled the bill. He did a good thing in doing that. It showed that he does care what the people think.

          As far as the million dollar grant that came in last year, every dime, except for 10,000 for admistrative costs in adminstering the grant, went to local organizers to be used for GOTV activities. Not one dime in that million dollars was used for salaries. Just for the record, I have never been compensated one dime for my tea party releated activities.

          • saltycracker says:

            The passage of Obamacare has already cost me and regardless of the outcome there is no backing up those costs to me even if repealed…..The situation now is to see big reductions in health care costs, someway and am looking for options…….

            What I see is the tea party sending around an argument from a Dr. who thinks she is underpaid, quoting the costs of obamacare but not the solutions later mentioned, closing a door that conservative opinions say is “what the state should do…” and throwing out another option within the week…..I have almost always sided with tea party positions but am now wondering if they are being led by big Z

          • saltycracker says:

            The passage of Obamacare has already cost me and regardless of the outcome there is no backing up those costs to me even if repealed…..The situation now is to see big reductions in health care costs, someway and am looking for options…….

            What I see is the tea party sending around an argument from a Dr. who thinks she is underpaid, quoting the costs of obamacare but not the solutions later mentioned, closing a door that conservative opinions say is “what the state should do…” and throwing out another option within the week…..I have almost always sided with tea party positions but am now wondering if they are being led by big Republican donors with an interest.

            • B Balz says:

              I was disappointed that Debbie0040 used that article to amplify her point. The article reeks of AMA ‘status quo’.

              What means big Z?

              • saltycracker says:

                Sorry – bumped send & modified it – but still missing pieces – point ended with

                Healthcare must be reformed thru (cough) gov’t regulation that tears down walls of protectionism and restrictions to allow competition from what the corner quick med can do, testing, insurance & med sources and all the way to burial & casket choices….

  13. Harry says:

    “I’m sorry to say, but your free market ideal, while wonderful in theory, simply does not work in the one industry where demand doesn’t cut costs. ”

    You know, there hasn’t been a free market in health care in the US for almost 50 years. The industry is run by large organization special interests including government bureaucrats, and under Obamacare it will only intensify.

  14. SOGTP says:

    In truth to all of you folks, the Tea Partiers were merely assisting members of the Republican Caucus that did NOT want to vote for this Bill, but were being pressured by leadership. The leadership in the Republican Party under the Gold Dome are drifting into Statism and it is making the rank-and-file members very uncomfortable.

    You should thank the tea-partiers, not vilify them. Your tea-partiers just saved your Republican Caucus rank-and-file members from losing their elections in 2012.

    • B Balz says:

      How about I reserve my thanks for the few WDC lawmakers that ‘get it’ and not a mob of cake eaters? You are either part of the solution or in the way. I suspect the latter and hope for the former.

  15. B Balz says:


    I am glad for this exchange of ideas, though your remark about personal gain for this writer is untrue and unappreciated. You may want to rethink insulting GOP voters.

    Actually, Big Business LOVES PPACA. The day will come when ones grandchildren will look at you with wonderment and say, “You mean when you worked your Company had healthcare benefits?” Healthcare exchanges, which may or may not be anything we want to get into, right now, ought to be planned for as a backup. That is my sole premise.

    An economist would point to a most obvious set of facts: Boomers are getting older, thus a huge increase in healthcare demand coupled with the prescient fact kyleinatl points out: “healthcare” where demand doesn’t cut costs. Higher demand curve, and price goes UP, instead of going down with increased economies of scale.

    Medicare is a price floor. Currently, the most innovative, entrepreneurial organizations are creating business paradigms that profit, provide quality HC service, and meet that floor price. Medicare is one of the only forces currently lowering the HC cost curve.

    Yet, a good Monetarist would say: price floors are gimmicks, market forces should be employed. But the market has not stepped up to the plate, as the counter-intuitive, proportional demand curve shows. There are no profits in chronic care, yet.

    Debbie0040 and the GA GOP benefit from the great discontent ALL Americans feel from KNOWING that during the last THIRTY years, BOTH Parties have been poor stewards of taxpayers dollars. To my mind, the Tea Party represents a disgust for the way things are run in government, and NOT a groundswell of GOP support. I suspect the GOP will go to the gallows along with the Dems if, in fact our Nation doesn’t ‘get with the program’, but quick.


    Congressman Woodall writes:

    “… The bad news came from a Budget Committee hearing. As you may know, I sit on the Budget Committee, and this week we had a hearing on the crushing burden of our debt. The panel of economists and think tank leaders agreed that America has five years or less to correct its record deficits before the world credit markets simply cut us off. …”

    I hate being like Cassandra….


  16. debbie0040 says:

    bbalz, “BOTH Parties have been poor stewards of taxpayers dollars. To my mind, the Tea Party represents a disgust for the way things are run in government, and NOT a groundswell of GOP support. ”

    Totally agree. Just because the GOP says they heard the tea party message, does not mean they really did. They may think we will just quitely away. They will be in for a big surprise…I do believe that many in the GOP heard our message.. I have told media that the discontent of tea party activists actually started under W but we just not call ourselves tea party. Anyone that attended the early tea parties in 2009, would have found just as much anger directed at the GOP as the Dems…

    We do know that we need healthcare reform, but don’t believe government take over is the answer.. We support free market solutions that include high risk pools, portability , etc. We just don’t want the federal government supervising exchanges…Look what federal government supervision did to Medicare/Social Security..

  17. CoolRightOn says:

    PPACA was not written to help people with pre-existing conditions, or those who had suffered a recission, or whose coverage was too expensive. These are the excuses, but not the reason. The reason for PPACA is that in the next 20 years 33 million baby boomers are going to hit Medicare and pick its bones clean – leaving politicians with the choice of (i) honoring Medicare obligations and cutting spending elsewhere, (ii) slashing Medicare benefits / raising taxes, or (iii) implement PPACA which taxes the young and healthy to pay for the old and sick.

    So I think the most helpful thing for people to do when analyzing this law is to separate the desirable insurance reforms (guarantee issue, primarily) from the notion that this bill is really just a huge tax.

    The state of Georgia faces the choice of implementing its own exchange or allowing the Feds to do it for them. If the Feds do it the huge sucking sound you will hear is GA dollars leaving the state via insurance premiums, loss of insurance premium taxes, and lost jobs in the state exchange and ancillary administrative providers, insurance companies, agents, etc.

    Finally, I think it is a misnomer to call a state-run exchange “free market” when it is chocked full of Federal subsidies, Federally mandated benefits, etc. Truly free market insurance comparison web sites have existed for a long time. If that’s the case, why do we need anything but insurance reforms? To answer my own question: because Medicare is broke.

    • B Balz says:


      i) This would be great, but, not gonna happen or even could happen. HC costs are exponential, and unlike pensions (logarithmic), are not predictable. Lawmakers will re-balance the US Federal Budget. Some left of center types estimate defense is closer to 54% of the actual budget when you figure costs GAO does not. Defense WILL be on the table or the Blue team will not play.

      Defense, discretionary spending, and entitlements are all going to have to be cut. Revenue will need to be enhanced. It is sad, largely a result of 30 years of largess and undebatable.

      ii) Medicare payments have been decreasing steadily since the late ’90’s. Revenue enhancements (i.e. tax bracket changes, user fees, and the like will all occur, as well.)

      iii) PPACA’s individual mandate forces the healthy to become insured. Nobody likes being forced to do anything, and I do not like the individual mandate one iota. Yet, in actuarial terms the only way to ATTEMPT to cover risk at the least cost is to spread it over a larger population.

      Making this an Age War is unhelpful.

      The healthcare exchanges are clunky and yet, ill-defined. Yet, I agree we better have our say in them, rather than to trust the Feds. Who knows, maybe waiting was a good idea, we can pray for the Kennedy and the Supremes…

      • CoolRightOn says:

        ii) After reviewing the Trustee Report I don’t think anyone could say that Medicare costs have been on the decline. http://www.ssa.gov/oact/trsum/index.html

        iii) Or remain uninsured and pay a nominal tax to the Feds. So imagine up to 2 million uninsured Georgians paying a tax to the Feds AND going into our emergency rooms uninsured. That’s a double whammy for Georgia – we lose money from our economy and our hospitals are cost shifting more to the remaining private sector.

        • B Balz says:

          ii) I said Medicare payments to providers are declining, not the costs…

          iii) I absolutely agree. Read my posts, I am not advocating PPACA. I am simply agreeing that we ought to be proactive with the health exchanges, instead of letting the Feds make them for us.

          Good points all.

          Read it and weep:

    • rut roh says:

      “GA dollars leaving the state via insurance premiums?” Rut-roh!

      But-but-but-buuuuuut seems to me that the big push was to allow for Georgians to buy insurance across state lines anyway, right? Dollars and premium taxes are gone then, right?

  18. B Balz says:


    Not to argue: But ‘federal government supervision’ is not responsible for the Social Security problem. ELECTED officials and not government employees have used the SS Fund cash to finance everything, starting with President Johnson and the Vietnam War.

    As I stated above, the price floor that is Medicare, is one of the few programs that is forcing a lowering of the HC cost curve. As well, and to a much larger degree, low Medicare payments are denying access to millions for HC. Many, many more doctors are not taking new Medicare patients (denying access).

    • CoolRightOn says:

      Actually several group exchanges do exist – http://www.calchoice.com – comes to mind. Why they haven’t thrived is really your question. Probably that it is such a large endeavor to create one – and the margins on insurance aren’t all that great.

      On the individual side you have ehealth, Quotit and Norvax, but these are not true exchanges in the sense that they are not currently configured to handle eligibility and premium aggregation. That will change.

      Exchanges under PPACA will only “thrive” because they don’t have to operate under market forces – they get to subsidize policyholders premiums with our tax dollars – and their marketing budget will defy anything a private company could ever hope for.

    • B Balz says:

      Yo grift:

      Can you find anyone on this thread that came anywhere close to saying healthcare exchanges are a ‘panacea’? Healthcare exchanges are required, by current law, to be implemented by each State by 2014. If not, the Feds will do that for us. Ugghhhh.

      Debbie0040 did an excellent job, once we got her out of battle mode, to explain why the Tea Party felt the timing was premature. Our lawmakers concurred. I am delighted that reasonable ‘adults-in-the-room’ have healthcare exchanges under active consideration.

      Healthcare exchanges are an artificial, and not market driven, artifice. Nobody here has suggested they are a panacea. Again, unless the Supreme Court changes the current law, they are required in 2014.

      I enjoy your commentaries, kind of miss your blog. Use that G’d given mind to help get us over the dangerous times ahead, ‘kay?

      • griftdrift says:

        I wondered if anyone would catch me on the “panacea” comment since asking where I said something is a frequent tactic I take. Point taken. 🙂

        No, no one said panacea, but what debbie said is “We would support free market health care exchanges not under the mandates set by the federal government or un-constitutional law. ”

        If your default position is “free market” then I think it is a legitimate question to ask why the market has not already addressed the problem. We have a large pool of consumers who are not consuming the product. If Utah-style exchanges are the solution then why have that not popped up like mushrooms after a rain storm?

        Maybe there are legitimate reasons. I think that’s worth exploring instead of both sides being baby out with the bathwater absolutist.

        And CoolRightOn, those are some good points, but I don’t have time to address now. I will say this – there are ways to make the private – public partnership in driving consumers to services work – think Welfare to Work. Maybe I’ll have time to elaborate later.

        • saltycracker says:

          Perhaps the system we have now has legislated a free market away.
          Why are medical costs running at incredible annual increases when we see positive changes in high tech ?
          Look at the change in Computers & TV’s cost vs. capabilities in the last 5 years…..

          Legislation should protect the public while encouraging innovation & competition.

          Heck – unless something has recently changed, you can’t even get buried without paying the piper:

          “Georgia’s funeral industry has long fought free market sale of caskets and urns and for good reason. Casket sales drove profits for funeral homes, which typically marked them up 200 percent to 400 percent, according to the national organization Funeral Consumers Alliance.”

      • SOGTP says:

        B Balz. If those exchanges are implemented in Georgia it will be by the hand of your elected officials. They get all the blame.

        • B Balz says:

          Well, I guess keeping blame local is better than having to find a Federal to blame. (;>) I don’t see a positive outcome in ignoring HC exchanges. Glad that is not what is happening..

          I imagine there will be some BIG changes to PPACA. Just keep in mind that the GOP did not address the HC issue, and we got what we got as a result. Some of PPACA can and will get hammered out.

          While some may say HC is not a right, it is currently a shared cost, thus, making it an issue of National concern.

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