As Vote Looms, Ga. Leaders Ambivalent About Health Care Plan | WABE 90.1 FM

As Vote Looms, Ga. Leaders Ambivalent About Health Care Plan

Mar 23, 2017

As the U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote Thursday on the healthcare bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, leaders in Georgia have expressed mixed views about the plan. 

So far, many of Georgia's Republican members in the U.S. House appear to support the bill. But Wednesday, a spokesperson for Congressman Jody Hice, a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, said Hice was opposed to the measure.  

However, the original plan raised concerns from top state leaders. 

Earlier this month, a group of Republican state Senators met to discuss how the health plan in Washington could affect Georgia. At the time, they said the state would lose out on federal dollars for Medicaid compared to other states that have expanded Medicaid and have been spending more on the program.

“We certainly want to advocate on our state's behalf to our elected officials in Washington to try to get some relief in those measures,” Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said.

The state's top Republican leaders including Gov. Nathan Deal have taken cautious views on the plan. Deal said he wanted Georgia to be treated “fairly” in the plan to replace Obamacare.

“This has been moving at lightning speed, and it makes really big changes to our healthcare system,” said Cindy Zeldin, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future. “These are changes that need time to be thought through and talked through.”

She said estimates have shown more than 500,000 Georgians could lose insurance over 10 years under the original GOP healthcare plan.

WABE’s Johnny Kauffman contributed to this story.