Fri., January 13, 2012 4:05pm (EST)

Democrats Want Healthcare Exchange
By Jeanne Bonner
Updated: 2 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Georgia's Republican leadership says it will wait to create a federally-mandated healthcare exchange until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on Pres. Obama's Affordable Care Act. Democrats held a press conference at the State Capitol to say that's a mistake. They will file a bill setting up the exchange if Republicans don't. (Photo: Jeanne Bonner)
Georgia's Republican leadership says it will wait to create a federally-mandated healthcare exchange until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on Pres. Obama's Affordable Care Act. Democrats held a press conference at the State Capitol to say that's a mistake. They will file a bill setting up the exchange if Republicans don't. (Photo: Jeanne Bonner)
Georgia Democrats say they will propose a bill creating a healthcare exchange if Republican lawmakers don’t. They also say they’ve filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting Pres. Obama’s healthcare reform law.

Democrats say Republicans need to stop delaying the creation of a healthcare exchange.

The federal Affordable Care Act mandates that each state have a marketplace where residents can buy insurance.

The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the law in March, and will likely decide if it’s constitutional by June.

At a press conference at the state Capitol, Rep. Pat Gardner of Atlanta says Georgia can’t wait for the High Court’s decision.

“We’ll be at the back of the line in terms of applying for federal funds to help set up the exchange," Gardner said. "We don’t think it will make sense to come back for a special session to pass a bill on a health insurance exchange.”

Governor Nathan Deal, on the other hand, says the state should wait for the court decision.

Brian Robinson is Deal’s spokesman.

“With the Supreme Court on the verge of making a landmark ruling on Obamacare this Spring, the Governor doesn’t want the state moving forward and spending any resources or energy on an issue that may go away in the Spring,” he said Friday.

Georgia was one of the first states to challenge the law’s constitutionality.