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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Georgia senators push for defunding of Obamacare

Camie Young

Camie Young

As Democrats touted a report that said Georgians would benefit from health care reform with lower premiums, the state’s Republican senators voted Wednesday to move forward to defund the so-called Obamacare law.

U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson agreed with the unanimous Senate vote on cloture of the motion to proceed on a house resolution, which funds the federal government until Dec. 15 but prohibits funds from being used to implement the health care law. The cloture motion means the bill will be brought to the floor for debate.

“I voted in favor of the House Republican’s bill, because it defunds Obamacare and funds the government, without increasing spending,” said Chambliss. “The House of Representatives delivered a bill to the Senate that the American people want, and that I support. I will oppose any attempt by Majority Leader Reid to strip the provision that defunds Obamacare from this bill. Instead of admitting defeat before it has come, Republicans should work together to convince Senate Democrats to stop this flawed health care law from being implemented. I hope my colleagues decide that wrecking our already fragile economy is too high of a price to pay just to uphold the President’s signature law.”

Isakson, who is a member of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which have jurisdiction over health care, said, “In keeping with my consistent and strong opposition to Obamacare, I joined with Senator Chambliss and all of Georgia’s House Republican members in voting today for the House-passed continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare and keeps the government running. I have cast almost 60 votes to defund, dismantle and repeal this disastrous health care law and will continue to do so. I hope that the Senate will act quickly so that we have time to work with the House to find a resolution for continuing to fund the government before Oct. 1.”

President Obama has said he will veto any bill that defunds Obamacare, and members of the Georgia Democratic Party said Wednesday the reform is working and will cost consumers less than anticipated, citing a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study.

“The new report found that health care rates in Georgia are affordable, especially with new subsidies that will be available for around half of Americans buying their health insurance. The report found that right here in Georgia, a 27 year old making $25,000 a year would have access to insurance plans as low as $103 per month and a family of four making $50,000 would only pay $132,” said DuBose Porter, the newly elected state party chairman. “Obamacare is working and Republicans in Washington are doing everything in their power to take it away, even if it means hurting our economy by shutting down the government and not paying our nation’s bills.”

The report found that in addition to lower premiums, in Georgia, consumers will be able to choose from an average of 50 plans so they can pick the one that works best for them and their family. The health care plans give Georgians access to quality affordable coverage with no lifetime caps on care and prevent coverage denial due to preexisting conditions, a press release said.

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

Camie Young can be reached via email at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.

For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/politics.