The South Georgia Republican estimated there are about 150,000 Georgians who could get a health insurance plan right now through the Obamacare exchange, where they would pay ‘zero, or single-digit premiums.’
Don’t get me wrong — Carter wasn’t offering an endorsement of the Affordable Care Act.
But the tenor of his comments unintentionally showcased a notably different situation for GOP lawmakers. Four years ago — with Donald Trump in the White House — they were doing everything they could to get rid of the Obama health law. Now that’s almost a political relic.
The complaints from Republicans at the state and federal level about the current system aren’t much different, as GOP officials still argue the plan isn’t fixing the problem of people going without health insurance coverage.
“Insurance is still far too costly,” Carter said. But he made no mention of the Republican calls to repeal the law, which began as soon as it was signed in 2010.
The 11th birthday of the Obama health law was also a reminder that Republicans have never been able to rally around a single legislative plan to replace the system, as Democrats used the new COVID relief law to expand insurance subsidies for the next two years.
“With new help for families in the American Rescue Plan, it’s a great time to sign up for health insurance at healthcare.gov,” tweeted U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, D-Suwanee.
That same law also offers new incentives to Georgia and other states — which have resisted expanding Medicaid under Obamacare — to finally take that money from Uncle Sam.
“We must expand Medicaid in our state to insure more Georgians,” U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock said this week.
The Obama health law has been under attack since its inception. Somehow, it has survived, and now seems to be prospering.
Jamie Dupree has covered national politics and the Congress from Washington, D.C. since the Reagan administration. His column will appear weekly in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. For more, check out his Capitol Hill newsletter at http://jamiedupree.substack.com