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Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 2:37pm

Georgia Health Care: A Partisan Issue

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is polarizing Democrats and Republicans in Georgia.

While Democrats across the country are calling the decision a victory for President Obama, Governor Deal and the Republican leadership in the state is calling on Congress to repeal the law.

The deadline for Georgia to decide whether it will accept federal funds to put healthcare exchanges into place is November 16th. The exchanges are meant to create a competitive marketplace for affordable health insurance. Governor Deal says Georgia will wait until the election on November 6th before implementing an exchange:

“We can then make a judgement call if there is significant legislative action to repeal or modify significantly this legislation that has been approved by the court.”

But Senator Vincent Fort of Atlanta says waiting until November is an irresponsible decision for uninsured Georgians.

“As happy as I am about this decision, I am very disappointed that the Governor is playing politics with the health and well being of the 1.6 million Georgians without healthcare. For him to say, 'we’re going to wait until the November election, we’re going to wait to see what kind of president we’re going to have, what kind of Congress we’re going to have' is politics at his worst.”

The new law leaves in place the so-called individual mandate, requiring Americans to buy health insurance by 2014 or face a penalty. Insurers will continue to have to cover people with pre-existing conditions. According to an Atlanta Journal Constitution poll, more than 2,000 previously uninsured Georgians with pre-existing conditions are now insured under the law.