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Georgia Leading the Way on Positive Health Reform

by john stephenson / /

 

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives took the final vote on President Obama's health care "reform" plan. The plan calls for the massive expansion of the government by requiring individuals to have health insurance whether they want to have it or not. In the midst of that debate, conservatives consistently called for allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines. While liberals in Congress dismissed those calls, there is an effort in Georgia to do just that on the state level.

 

Today, the Georgia State House of Representatives is considering HB 1184, a bill sponsored by Rep. Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City), which would allow health insurance products sold in other states to be sold in Georgia. The bill would apply only to the individual insurance market, a segment of the population who must buy insurance on their own because they don’t have the option of obtaining insurance through their employers. The bill requires all health plans sold in Georgia to go through the state’s insurance licensure process and the state insurance commissioner will retain jurisdiction to investigate and penalize health plans if necessary. It also requires the state insurance commissioner to provide a form describing all of the benefits of policies sold in the state so consumers will know exactly what they are getting in each health plan.

 

Allowing for the sale of health insurance across state lines is a common sense reform that Congress, in its infinite wisdom, ignored. Now Georgia has a chance to explore its potential to increase competition and reduce costs with HB 1184 on the state level. Let's just hope that the Legislature can pass it without getting buried by special interest lobbyists.