Cagle appoints new legislator to high-profile health committee

The Georgia Senate’s health care task force has a new senator as a new member.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has appointed state Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick, an orthopedic surgeon, to the task force that he formed to address the state’s health care.

The group is meeting in locations across the state to hear expert testimony. Its goal is to come up with suggestions or solutions that advance Georgia’s interests in light of changes to federal health care law that are now being considered in Washington.

Kirpatrick, a doctor for 30 years, joins other medical professionals on the panel, including Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, who worked as a nurse. The timing of Cagle’s announcement, four days before the 6th Congressional District election, also makes a political point. Kirkpatrick is a Republican from Marietta, and she recently won election against a Democrat in a district that lies mostly within the 6th District.

The 6th District election, where Democrat John Ossoff is battling Republican Karen Handel, is the most expensive U.S. House race in history and will be decided Tuesday.