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February 7, 2017

Casey Cagle Readies Georgia for Obamacare Overhaul

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Casey Cagle has solidified his commitment to establishing a health care system that puts Georgia’s patients first.

“Six years after Nancy Pelosi told us, ‘We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it,’ millions of honest, hardworking Americans have found out the harsh reality – Obamacare means runaway costs, fewer choices and decreased access,” Cagle said.

“With the creation of Georgia’s Health Care Reform Task Force, the Trump administration and Congress will find the State of Georgia ready to partner and collaborate on finding a solution that’s better for patients – and for taxpayers,” Cagle added. “The mission of this task force is to identify any provisions of state law that may need to be changed, while developing conservative solutions to increase access to personalized health insurance across Georgia. Our top priorities are reducing costs and strengthening the doctor-patient relationship.”

In announcing the Task Force, Cagle and Senate Leaders made clear that repealing and replacing Obamacare will ensure Georgia’s health care policies are guided by the following key principles:

PATIENTS FIRST:  The doctor-patient relationship is paramount. Reforming our health care system will make certain that Georgia’s citizens receive high quality care from the doctors they choose. We will ensure every decision rests with the individual, not a network of bureaucrats.

PATIENT DRIVEN:  Health insurance should be personalized to meet the needs of individuals and their families. Repealing and replacing Obamacare will permit us to stop forcing citizens to pay more for less, without subsidizing other expenses unrelated to each patient’s care. Increased flexibility will allow for providers and doctors to innovate and offer their patients higher quality care at lower costs.

PATIENT ACCESS: People need access to health care solutions that fit their needs and budgets. Reform will increase diversity and choice in the marketplace so that all consumers can best determine the right policies for themselves and their families. Georgia’s taxpayers should not be forced to shoulder the burden for federal mandates.

PATIENT-SPECIFIC:  With more than 330 million people across our nation who each have very different healthcare challenges, we cannot afford to sustain one-size-fits-all insurance policies. Georgia’s leaders are closest to the people who we serve, and we can best adapt to meet the evolving challenges our citizens face. Medicaid funding should be realigned to operate as a block grant to stretch our limited dollars further and provide the highest quality of care to those who need it most.

Georgia’s Health Care Reform Task Force will be guided by Senators Renee Unterman, Dean Burke, Ben Watson, and Judson Hill. Numerous experts from around the state will be brought in to offer testimony and provide recommendations to ensure we get it right for all Georgians.

“Responsibly replacing Obamacare with a health insurance system that returns power to patients and doctors, takes a free market approach, and is affordable for individuals and taxpayers is one of the greatest challenges facing our state and nation. We must support full and immediate repeal, and begin working to implement the best solutions on behalf of all Georgians. I am confident this task force will take meaningful steps so that we can finally put patients first,” said Lt. Governor Cagle.

Senator Renee Unterman, Chairperson of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, and a former critical care emergency nurse added, “This is a great opportunity with the anticipated federal healthcare infrastructure reforms to re-shape Georgia’s patient delivery systems to allow better access to care.  Since the ACA took effect, the Georgia Legislature has been creative in its efforts to prop up an ailing health system with limited state dollars.  Moving forward, it is imperative that we utilize our resources and knowledge gained to reduce health disparities and identify sustainable healthcare solutions across Georgia.”

Senator Dean Burke, a physician with over 30 years of clinical experience and a rural hospital administrator, stated: “I look forward to serving on this task force to improve access to quality care for all Georgians. Over recent years, I have been witness to the degradation of our rural healthcare network. We will act to ensure that all of Georgia’s citizens – both rural and urban – have access to affordable, high quality choices.”

Senator Ben Watson, a primary care physician with more than two decades of experience, remarked: “Georgia will be at the forefront of health care reform. We stand ready to take full advantage of the flexibility granted to offer our citizens the highest possible quality of care, choice, and cost savings.”

“Americans are getting the change they demanded in our last election. With our fellow Georgian Congressman Tom Price set to administer our nation’s healthcare policies, we are in a great position to improve healthcare access and affordability for every Georgian. I believe there’s no greater or more urgent priority for Georgia and for the 2017 General Assembly than preparing to immediately implement a replacement for Obamacare,” stated Senator Judson Hill.