After an extraordinarily eventful day that stretched well into the night, the General Assembly on Tuesday passed two bills that, in effect, deploy a large sign at the state line saying: Obamacare not welcome here.
The first piece of legislation, House Bill 990, gives the Legislature the authority to decide whether the state should expand its Medicaid program, a power that currently resides with the governor. The second, HB 943, goes farther, barring any state or local governments, agencies or employees from advocating for Medicaid expansion, except under certain circumstances, or from creating a health insurance exchange.
Both bills passed the state Senate Tuesday night and await the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal, a longtime and vocal opponent of the Affordable Care Act.
And both bills all but ensure that Georgia will not expand Medicaid under the act. Deal says the state can’t afford the expansion. Supporters say the net effect of HB 990 and 943 will be to leave hundreds of thousands of Georgians with no health coverage.
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