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Ga. immigration law bogs down medical licensing

ATLANTA — Officials say Georgia's law cracking down on illegal immigration is causing administrative problems for doctors and creating more work for the state regulators who license them.

The law, passed last year to make it tougher for people to live and work in the state without proper documentation, includes a provision that requires all licensed professionals to prove their citizenship.

The Medical Association of Georgia said the law has created an administrative burden for physicians, and the small staff of Georgia's Medical Composite Board is bogged down trying to process license renewals for Georgia's 41,000 doctors and other medical professionals because of the requirement.

It was reported that some medical professionals have had to briefly stop seeing patients because of the delays.

Doctor's licenses must be renewed every two years. The task previously was done on a state website; doctors received immediate confirmation of their renewals after a few clicks and a payment.

Now, applicants must submit a notarized affidavit and identification proving U.S. citizenship, and the staff of the Medical Composite Board must review the information. The state said nearly a third of doctors are experiencing a delay of 10 or more days in renewing their licenses.

No one has been found who was living in the state illegally despite all the work.

"I can tell you that we have not found one yet, and so far we've processed about 28,000 of these," said Bob Jeffrey, operations director for the agency. "So far, everyone is legal."

The Medical Association of Georgia said it has been barraged with calls from doctors who are frantic about problems. The law prohibits unlicensed doctors from practicing medicine.

"We've received a number of complaints from our physician members discussing they've had a number of licensure delays," said Donald Palmisano Jr., executive director of the association.

Palmisano said the law has affected the way some doctors practice medicine.

"It's added another administrative burden to physicians, so it's taken away some time from their focus on patient care, and that's where the real concern is," Palmisano said.

Many groups are pushing lawmakers to make adjustments during their next session.

Comments

Sandykin 2 years ago

You cannot profile on these matters. Little old ladies, 80 years old and arthritic, are hand searched as if they could possibly be a terrorist at the airport. So doctors have to prove their citizenship. Big deal. If you're really concerned about it, how about storing the info, since their citizenship is unlikely to have changed if they've been practicing here for the previous two years.

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DB 2 years ago

"I can tell you that we have not found one yet, and so far we've processed about 28,000 of these," said Bob Jeffrey, operations director for the agency. "So far, everyone is legal." "No one has been found who was living in the state illegally despite all the work."

Isn't that the point?

I think everyone, including those who are temporarily inconvenienced by this law, would want it to permanently bog down lawbreakers who shouldn't be taking on patients in this state.

Talk about a major duh.

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notblind 2 years ago

It's pretty obvious that our lawmakers are punishing us for insisting that immigration laws should be enforced.

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Say_that_again 2 years ago

What a brilliant move from the legislature! We want medical costs to go up so add more costs to those in the medical practice! Just ignore the extra load placed on the secretary of state's office to handle the processing and verification of the forms. So what if the work load on these has tripled, we cannot hire more help because we are cutting all budgets so tax payers can enjoy lower rates. We can't seem to handle things logically. Did anyone even investigate the difficulty of any licensing without citizenship? With a doctor shortage, why would one want to interfere with all doctors so they could catch 1 in a million that might not be legally in the country? Since the law now requires proof of citizenship or legal residence to get a drivers license, then the only documentation that should be the drivers license number, easily cross referenced by computer, but this would be logical and it is obvious that legislators prefer playing politics to acting with sanity.

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news2me 2 years ago

Jan, there is a doctor shortage because none of them want to deal with Obamacare not because of GA immigration laws. Just like with every other new law, this too shall pass and become a non-issue. You think this is bad, just ask any of these professionals what they think of the red tape and playing politics that Obamacare WILL cause. This is nothing compared to what is about to come at you. The free ride is going to cause people like you the most pain. Grin and bear it!

In the meantime, I am sure you can ask your Illegal friends to recommend one of their own unlicensed quacks before Obamacare kicks in for free for your type. FYI, the southern Buford Hwy corridor is full of them.

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Why_not 2 years ago

News2me.....so you are saying that all of a sudden just since 2009, we have a shortage of doctors? What planet are you from?

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news2me 2 years ago

What planet are you from? The water supply on your planet is tainted with blue kool-aid. Don't drink the "water", it is really bad for you!

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Why_not 2 years ago

You need to come back to reality.......

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news2me 2 years ago

It is obvious that you do not even socialize with doctors and medical professionals. You need to come back to reality .... pondering about 2009 when I never brought it up.

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NewsReader 2 years ago

news2me, stop arguing with this imbecile. You can always recognize a liberal idiot when they start off with "...so what you are saying..."! We all read it Why_not. We don't need you to regurgitate in your own words what he was saying, nor do we need your interpretation of it.

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news2me 2 years ago

Wow, that was such a powerful retort. LMAO!!!

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NewsReader 2 years ago

Ouch! That really hurt Why_not! LMAO along with news2me!

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DavidBrown 2 years ago

The Republican Party will never recapture the White House until it moderates its draconian position on immigration. The last six Presidential elections prove that conclusively. The Republican candidate for President has won the popular vote only once since 1988. They lost the Hispanic vote by a wide margin this year.

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notblind 2 years ago

Illegal aliens have nothing to do with immigration.

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news2me 2 years ago

Illegal aliens cannot vote. The Democrats will never give Illegals citizenship or immunity, so they voted for Obama on yet another one of his empty promises and lies. Besides, most those that voted for Obama this time will never (never) vote again. This was a revenge vote and a vote about specific entitlements that people like you will never get.

Why should the Republicans bother pimping for votes and lie about their positiion? The man you worship won on lies and Romney simply lost by a narrow margin of popular votes.

It is obvious that you like the US as a sinking power with a population living off government crumbs. Legal hispanics can only be lied to for so long. The backlash will hurt the Democrats much more than the Republicans.

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Sthrnldy 2 years ago

Bless your heart, DavidBrownNoser! At this point I don't care if a Republican is elected President or not. Personally I know scores of Republicans that have done well for the past several decades regardless of who or what (D) is in control. The problem is the Liberals that continue to vote for the redistribution of wealth and power that is never going to happen. You can smuggle the other half of Mexico over here to work for you as slave labor but that is not going to change the dynamics of the way this country works.

What you, DavidBrownNoser, are essentially saying is that Republicans have not really been in power while the US has been going to H E L L in a handbasket. We, the well informed and educated, that did not vote for your American Idol Obama can see what your World is turning into. But that is your problem and what your vote for a failed community organizer is going to cost you.

Blame Obama, blame the Democrats! According to DavidBrownNoser we can't be held accountable! Love it!

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DavidBrown 2 years ago

In the words of Republican Governor Bobby Jindal after the election, "You don't win elections by insulting people".

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news2me 2 years ago

Obama won by brainwashing you (etc.) and insulting your intelligence. Works like a charm for the Democrats. Why so bitter?

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DavidBrown 2 years ago

"You don't win elections by insulting people". Republican Governor Jindal's comments were in response to Governor Romney's assertion that President Obama won reelection by offering "gifts" to African-Americans, Hispanics and young voters. For a sensible article on Governor Jindal's entire comments and where the Republican Party needs to go, read http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/14/reports-romney-says-obama-won-by-offering-gifts-to-minorities-and-young-voters/

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news2me 2 years ago

Obama won by brainwashing you (etc.) and insulting your intelligence. Works like a charm for the Democrats. Why so bitter?

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notblind 2 years ago

It's all about the [D]. Can [D]o no wrong.

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DavidBrown 2 years ago

In other words, you don't mind the Republicans continually losing Presidential elections. You would rather cut off your nose to spite your face.

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news2me 2 years ago

Why should Republicans compromise on anything? I agree with the fact that most of those warm bodies that voted for Obama will never vote again. Being Right is standing your ground and being sucessful in spite of the direction the sheep are herding in. You should be worried about your face and having to look yourself in the mirror at someone that votes for the failure of this country. Obama is the only winner here, the rest of you get nothing for your loyalty...

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NewsReader 2 years ago

Here's another liberal idiot news2me. "...In other words..." Go figure!

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Why_not 2 years ago

Insulting people is essentially the only thing the right is good at.

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news2me 2 years ago

Why_not find something intelligent to post and you won't be such an easy target for the insults ....

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JV 2 years ago

"... includes a provision that requires all licensed professionals to prove their citizenship."

It's just a form you fill out and have notarized. Make a copy of your driver license and send them in. You can even scan them and email it. I don't see that it proves citizenship. Just that you are saying your a legal citizen. How hard can this be?

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Jan 2 years ago

Fascinating! I read DavidBrown's comments above and my impression is a centrist republican that sees how the takeover of the republican party by extremism is hurting the party and America. Then we have the old right wing republican guard that do not like facts and prefer tossing out insults treating him as though he were an extreme liberal. It is refreshing to see a republican arguing facts. I hope to see DavidBrown more often than in the past.

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notblind 2 years ago

How can Republicans losing elections be hurting "your" America ? The 47% + 4% libtards = never lose another POTUS election again.

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news2me 2 years ago

Jan, where in any of DavidBrown's comments gives you even the slighest impression he is a "centrist republican"? Did David whisper that in your ear last night, or are you like Cleanupguy where one of you make up mutiple personalities for someone to agree with you on these postings?

Please come out from under that rock. You see an extreme liberal posting ad naseum and you have the delusions he is a Republican? Stop giving us so much material to use against you and we just might stop with the insults. You are kind of your own worst enemy when it comes to starting an argument based on liberal lies.

So Jan, I challenge you to pick through Brown's comment and show us anything besides a liberal. You make tearing your delusions apart so darn easy. LOL ...

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NewsReader 2 years ago

Don't you just love it when Jan weighs in on anything? LMAO!

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news2me 2 years ago

Oluyemisi and Olufemi Afuape were both accused of pilfering more than $1 million in Georgia Medicaid for services that weren’t provided to children, authorities said.

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/gwinnett-couple-accused-of-cheating-medicaid/nTJfk/

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Kent 2 years ago

Jan, bless his heart, is where I always to to for entertainment purposes. Talking to him is equivalent to calling my representative Hank "the island is tilting" Johnson and trying to have a rational discussion based on facts without the progressive Obama worshipers canned talking points . Do the Republicans BS us too? You bet they do and Saxby and Johnny are among the worst, but the Dems carry it to a new level.

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