Local leaders Wednesday warned that two anti-Obamacare bills waiting for Gov. Nathan Deal’s signature could hamper their ability to educate their residents about the health care law and ultimately end up costing Georgia taxpayers money.
The pair of bills approved by state lawmakers after heated debate late Tuesday night would all but ensure Georgia won’t expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. The more sweeping of the two goes further by preventing any state or local governments, agencies or employees from advocating for expansion, under certain circumstances, or from creating a health insurance exchange.
Many cheered the bills’ passage, but local leaders and consumer advocates worried that the legislation would bar state organizations, including the University of Georgia, from running health insurance navigator programs to help people buy health plans through the federally run Health Insurance Marketplace.
That has Fulton County Chairman John Eaves concerned.
Eaves, a prominent Obamacare supporter, on Wednesday called the General Assembly’s passage of the bills “shortsighted” and an “impediment” to thousands of uninsured Georgians who could gain access to health care.
“These are people who are vulnerable and need to have access to health care,” he said.