During the last session, the Georgia General Assembly passed House Bill 47, which would allow Georgia insurance companies to sell individual health insurance policies with coverage equivalent to those sold in other states. This means they could sell health insurance policies with less coverage than is required in Georgia.
Over the last 15 years many organizations have worked diligently so that Georgians can have better health and access to health care. This includes requirements that insurance policies in Georgia cover healthcare issues such as vaccinations for children and cancer screenings such as mammograms, and colorectal, cervical and ovarian cancer and diabetes supplies. If this Bill becomes law, it means that the minimum requirements for coverage, including those mentioned, would no longer have to be part of health insurance policies in Georgia. The Bill passed in both the House and Senate with almost complete support by the Republicans. This included Sen. Gooch. Did Sen. Gooch know what he was saying “yes” to when he voted? If he did, I think it might be a good time to question who he is working for — fellow Georgians or the insurance companies. Rep. Amos Amerson and David Ralston did not vote on this bill.
Republicans claim that allowing skimpy policies that don’t cover basic services will provide more choices to uninsured Georgians, thus resulting in these uninsured Georgians turning to that market to purchase policies. But there is no evidence for this claim. In fact, this “race to the bottom” for cheaper policies may attract the young and healthy who hope they won’t need the coverage, but it will leave older people paying more.
The bill was advertised as making it possible to allow Georgians to shop across state lines for insurance. Why didn’t the Republicans just openly repeal the coverage required under Georgia law? Because that would be too obviously a benefit only to the insurance companies, not Georgians, and that had to be hidden.
The only thing left to do now is ask Gov. Nathan Deal to veto this bill. Call him today.