Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Health Care Compact Heads to Governor’s Desk in Georgia

The Georgia General Assembly passed the Health Care Compact, making them the second state to send the Compact to its governor. The Compact, introduced in the Senate by State Sen. Charlie Bethel (R-Dalton), would allow Georgia to join a Health Care Compact and provide Georgia the freedom and responsibility to develop health care laws. The Health Care Compact allows consumers more power to make health care decisions by returning funding and authority to state governments.

“Preserving 10th Amendment rights so states can move forward with true health care reform has been a driving force behind support across this nation for this Compact,” said Bethel. “Here in Georgia, we deserve full authority over our health care system to provide the best and most effective services for our citizens. It is our goal to implement free-market initiatives aimed at improving quality, increasing access, and lowering costs of health care for all Georgians. With this compact in place, we are ensured that we can make the decisions best for every person in this state. I thank the House and Senate for their hard work getting this compact passed and I look forward to working with Governor Deal to have it signed into law.”

I along with my conservative colleagues believe that states deserve control over health care goods and services and this Compact will guarantee

The Health Care Compact is an agreement between participating states that restores authority and responsibility for health care regulation to member states. The compact allows member states to create laws that are better suited for the state’s needs, including amendments to the federal health care law passed last year.

Georgia is the second state to send the compact to their governor for signature. The Health Care Compact has been introduced in 12 states and has passed the State House of Representatives in Montana, Missouri, and Arizona and State Senate in Oklahoma and Arizona. In addition, more than 36 states, citizen groups and state legislators are actively considering the Health Care Compact with legislative activity expected in the coming weeks.

The Georgia House version of the compact was introduced by Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper) and was co-sponsored by Representatives John Meadows (R-Calhoun), Tim Bearden (R-Villa Rica), Terry England (R-Auburn), Roger Williams (R-Dalton), Delvis Dutton (R- Glennville) and others.

The Health Care Compact was introduced by the Health Care Compact Alliance, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to providing Americans more influence over decisions that govern their health care.

“The Health Care Compact gives the health care decision-making power back to the people instead of the bureaucrats in Washington. It allows greater citizen influence, more competition, and more options for health care for millions of Americans,” said Eric O’Keefe, Chairman of the Health Care Compact Alliance. “We would like to thank Sen. Bethel for introducing this important legislation that will provide the citizens of Georgia with greater control over their government and, ultimately, over their health care.”

For the Health Care Compact to become law it must be passed by both houses of the General Assembly, signed by the governor, and approved through Congress. The way health care works in a member state is not prescribed in the compact. Who and what is covered as well as the level of regulation are determined by each state after the compact is ratified.


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