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Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - 10:18am

GOP Holds Off On Healthcare Bill

State Republicans have caved to pressure from opponents of federal health care reform.

Wednesday, GOP leaders pulled a bill from the House floor that would have fulfilled one of law's requirements.

The state will not create a health care exchange this year.

Federal law requires nearly everyone to have health insurance by 2014. The exchange is an online portal of different plans to help people get coverage.

Governor Nathan Deal's legislation would have begun the process of setting it up this year. But after his office and other Republican leaders, including House Majority Whip Ed Lindsey, met Tuesday with groups including tea party activists, they decided to put it off.

"They see this as a slippery slope in which by passing the exchange, it’s tantamount to approving what the federal government did - which I believe is incorrect. We already have our Attorney General fighting the bill in court."

Lindsey says delaying the exchange setup until next year is a good idea. He says the state could still meet the current January 2013 deadline.

If Georgia doesn’t set up its own exchange, the federal government will do so without state input.

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