Linder, GOP: Medicaid expansion to be burden

Camie Young

Camie Young

Congressman John Linder and his colleagues in the Georgia Republican delegation are fighting a proposed expansion of Medicaid as a part of government takeover of health care.

"Georgia has estimated that the cost of the House and Senate passed unfunded mandates, for just new enrollees, would cost a staggering $2.64 billion under the House version," said a letter, written by the seven Georgia GOP congressmen to the Speaker of the House. "Georgia currently cannot afford the cost of expanding Medicaid under the House and Senate bills. Due to the crippled economy, Georgia is facing significant budget problems and has been forced to make cuts to current services including K-12 education, public assistance, corrections, transportation and others."

The proposal could cost taxpayers in the state $100 to $200 million more each year, Linder said in a statement, "Georgians are already grappling with ways to balance the state budget, and they will likely have to endure major cuts in state services or increased taxes to do so," he said. "Hard-working Georgians simply can't afford to have their taxes raised in order to hand President Obama a political victory."

U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, whose district includes Braselton, also took exception to the burden on citizens.

"Health care reform should reduce cost and improve health insurance coverage, not add billions in new costs and state obligations under the control of bureaucrats in Washington," said Deal, who is running for governor.

Town hall meetings set

Local state Sens. Don Balfour, R-Snellville, and Renee Unterman, R-Buford, are planning a series of town hall meetings to give legislative updates.

The first is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 25 at Buford City Hall.

A second session is set for 7 p.m. March 11 at Lawrenceville City Hall.

In a press release, the two said they want to discuss issues their constituents find most important.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.