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Affordable Care Act

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal's office says he had been waiting to see what Congress would do on health care, and after an early Friday vote, "we will have to re-evaluate where we are now," according to his spokeswoman Jen Ryan. 

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The Senate failed to pass a key vote that would have kept repeal-and-replace efforts alive. So now the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, remains the law, and Georgia officials have to make some decisions on how to move forward.

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As Thursday night turned into Friday morning, the U.S. Senate — by a vote of 51-49 — defeated the “skinny repeal” proposal pushed by Republican leaders as a measure to replace parts of the Affordable Care Act.  

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That left GOP leaders in a familiar position: starting over on a health care bill. 

On Morning Edition, Denis O’Hayer got some thoughts on the dynamics behind the vote — and what’s next— from political strategists Brian Robinson and Tharon Johnson. 

Johnny Kauffman / WABE

Jimmy Lewis wanted a group of rural Georgia lawmakers to feel for themselves how he said rural hospital CEOs feel every day.

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“I’m talking fast and I’m giving you a lot of information for a specific reason,” he told lawmakers at a recent meeting of the Ga. House Rural Development Council in Bainbridge. “When it’s over with, I want you to say ‘that was overwhelming.’”

Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

As Senate Republicans push for a vote this week on repealing and replacing Obamacare — or simply repealing it and leaving the replacement part for later — a group of House Democrats has proposed a plan of their own.

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Ryan Nabulsi /

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia is enacting a radical new policy on emergency room visits to contain costs.

The insurer, which provides the only Affordable Care Act exchange plan in well over half of Georgia counties, says they’ll carefully scrutinize medical records when its members go to the ER and, if it determines that a reasonable person with the same problem wouldn’t have made the decision to head to the hospital, it won’t pay the bill. Georgia hospitals and ER doctors are decrying the move, as are many consumers.