Republican state lawmakers introduce Obamacare ban for state employees
State rep: Law would prevent Georgia from 'participating in the destruction of our own economy'
- Georgia House of Representatives
- State Rep. Jason Spencer
Well, it was bound to happen. A group of Republican state lawmakers are planning to introduce two bills that would make Obamacare illegal for most state employees and agencies.
State Reps. Jason Spencer of Woodbine, Michael Caldwell of Woodstock, David Stover of Newnan, Scot Turner of Holly Springs, and Kevin Cooke of Carrollton yesterday announced that two bills, if passed, would bring the Affordable Care Act to a halt in Georgia.
Spencer said the primary bill would specifically stop state employees, agencies, colleges, and universities from "enforcing and implementing" the Affordable Care Act and would allow Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens to take action against violators of the law.
"Obamacare addresses neither access nor affordability and only exacerbates pre-existing issues prior to the law's passage, as well as creating new problems for Georgians," he said in a statement. "This federal law was passed under false pretenses and as a result has caused serious economic harm to the state of Georgia. Because Obamacare was ill-conceived from the start, the majority of the public is now seeing how incompetent the federal government has become."
The proposal, he said, would save Georgia from "participating in the destruction of our own economy" by implementing Obamacare. The measure to effectively nullify Obamacare and is based on a blueprint from the Tenth Amendment Center, a Los Angeles-based think tank that was behind a similar bill in South Carolina and other states.
An accompanying bill urges Olens to either start or join a lawsuit to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's 2012 ruling that upheld most portions of the Affordable Care Act.
Cindy Zeldin, Executive Director for Georgians for a Healthy Future, thinks the measure would be problematic for many Georgians who are starting to enroll in health-care plans. She says similar laws have passed in others states and have had a "chilling" effect.
"We've been down this road a million times with the lawsuit going to the U.S. Supreme Court," Zeldin tells CL. "It's still here. It's both impractical and a disservice to consumers who are already buying these plans."
Zeldin doesn't think the bill will move far given the ACA's importance to hospitals and major insurance companies throughout Georgia. The larger questions would be whether or not this law could be enforced or used to challenge the U.S. Constitution.
But Caldwell thinks it's worth another look. "As elected officials we are bound by oath to uphold the Constitutions of Georgia and the United States, and the refusal to permit state resources to be utilized in the implementation of Obamacare is a necessary step to maintain our oaths," he added in a statement.
Whether House leaders think those debates should even take place is another question. We'll find out soon.