With collapse of Senate GOP effort, a sigh of relief from Georgia hospitals

In the hallways of many a hospital in Georgia, a sigh of relief rushed out at news of the collapse of the Senate Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act in a manner that would have would have sent the U.S. health care system deeper into uncharted territory.

Here’s the statement from Earl Rogers, president and CEO of the Georgia Hospital Association:

"The proposals being considered last night by the U.S. Senate, which would have resulted in millions more patients without health coverage, were not solutions we supported.


“For now, there is still no clear path forward for the hundreds of thousands of uninsured Georgians who lack meaningful access to health care. And there is little relief for our hospitals who endure more than $1.7 billion annually in uncompensated care.”

Yet the hospital association awarded U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue a pass on their votes in favor of a “skinny” repeal:

GHA thanks Senators Isakson and Perdue for their efforts to improve certain elements of the legislation in order to bring significant additional Medicaid funds for Georgia's hospitals. On behalf of our more than 170 hospital members, we will continue to work with state leaders and other stakeholders to craft solutions to this uninsured crisis.


To that last point, the Washington Post argues that U.S. Sen. John McCain’s vote to kill the effort wasn’t just a thumb in the eye of President Donald Trump:

Battling an aggressive form of brain cancer, the maverick was willing to vote “no” on the “skinny repeal” amendment so that other GOP colleagues who were also opposed to the measure could vote “yes” to save face with the conservative base. To this day, Trump has never apologized for saying that the former fighter pilot was not a war hero because he got captured in Vietnam. It gets less attention, but the president also besmirched the Arizona senator’s character by repeatedly accusing him of not taking care of other veterans. McCain has never forgotten.

Here’s the moment:

If you watch carefully, you can see David Perdue, who was presiding over the chamber at the time, bow his head as McCain fires his torpedo.


Politico.com reports that John McCain cast his no vote even after lobbying from the White House:

The president made a last-ditch effort, calling the Arizona senator and key holdout on the GOP’s Obamacare repeal measure, as the bill’s fate hung in the balance, according to two sources familiar with the conversation. After Pence had spent about 20 minutes working McCain, the senator went off the floor to speak with Trump by phone, those sources said.


This morning's response from the White House:


U.S. Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska were the two other Republicans who voted no. President Trump put the screws to Murkowski, and not just on Twitter. She received a phone call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke warning of dire implications for her state.

But it’s not always a good idea to tick off a Senate committee chairman. From the Alaska Dispatch News:

Murkowski chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and has used the position to drive home Alaska priorities, particularly with Interior nominees. She oversees the confirmation process for the Interior Department.


On Wednesday, a committee hearing on nominations to the Interior and Energy departments was postponed indefinitely. A reason was not posted.


According to the Gwinnett Post, Sugar Hill Mayor Steve Edwards says he shouldn’t have been included on a list of supporters issued last week by the Republican gubernatorial campaign of Brian Kemp, who is now secretary of state:

“I met Mr. Kemp in late June for the first time in Savannah while at a local government conference,” Edwards told the Daily Post in an email. “Although I will support a Republican candidate, I have not had a chance to officially endorse any candidate yet.”


U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, a Republican who hails from the Savannah area,  didn't appreciate many of the responses to his recent comment that someone should head to "that Senate and snatch a knot in their ass." Some were offended. Most were baffled.

Carter defended the language he used via Twitter:

He also doubled down on his original message, tweeting that the "entire Senate needs to get their act together and get their job done on health care." It also appears that Carter was not a fan of Insider's headline from Wednesday:

In our defense, the Guide to Coastal Georgia Slang isn't online.


George Chidi has given us permission to replicate some serious info he’s got up at GeorgiaPol.com:

Antica Posta, a Buckhead restaurant of some renown, hosted a famous Holocaust denier and white supremacist on a speaking tour last week.


In another time, this wouldn’t really be news. Racists eat every day. Some of them eat well.


But this made the news, because one of the servers at the restaurant posted a tearfully-written commentary about David Irving’s visit on Facebook, and the posting went viral. Members of his staff said they were subjected to racist abuse and abuse related to sexual orientation. Staff also said the party was not asked to leave afterward, but instead was berated for making a big deal out of “nothing,” followed by jokes about “serving a beer to a Nazi.”


Were this some frat party that got out of hand, I’d probably blow this off. In context, this incident should have made the news, but for more important reasons. The alt-right white supremacists of Atlanta appear to be moving toward more formal organization, and this is a sign of it.


Last September, a good friend of mine posted images of a group of young white guys with white supremacist T-shirts and Confederate battle flags at the top of Stone Mountain. It appeared to be a small thing, too, at the time.


It turns out that the meet-up at Stone Mountain was a “pool party,” which is alt-right slang for a group outing. Local networking events for young white supremacists began to pop up on the radar of antiracist activists.

Chidi goes on to name names and organizations. He begins his concluding thoughts with this:

Why the backstory? Because David Irving is exactly the guy you bring to the dinner table if you’re trying to layer a veneer of intellectual legitimacy over the idea that majority rule in America threatens European values and that white Christian men are the only legitimate leaders in society…

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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman
Tamar Hallerman
Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that...