Bill would allow Georgians to opt out of federal healthcare system

A bill that would prohibit mandatory participation in any federal healthcare system is headed to the desk of Gov. Perdue for his signature. The bill, originally proposed as SB 317, was attached as an amendment to SB 411, the Healthy Georgians Act of 2010.

The amendment was part of language originally crafted by Sen. Judson Hill (R-Marietta). Although SB 317 passed the senate, it got stuck in the House.

He said his amendment would protect Georgians “rights on health care choice.”

“I want to thank the entire General Assembly for helping me protect all Georgians from being compelled to participate in the federal healthcare program,” Hill said. “My original bill intended to shield every person in our state from having their basic rights of choice infringed upon by an unwanted government mandate.  With the passage of my measure, we will all continue to enjoy those rights to purchase private or public healthcare, or decline to participate in any healthcare plan at all.”

43 comments Add your comment


April 29th, 2010
7:45 pm

It is clear the republicans of Georgia (including Oxendine) has no interest in the quality of life for less priviledged Georgians, why would we be surprised..they’re offering no solutions and are hell bent on perpetuating this near industrial age health care system we are now having to tolerate…in a perfect world they (Oxendine and Perdue) would be one of the uninsured Georgians living with the anxiety and discomfort of being sick without Insurance…let them go to Grady and see what its like…

PapaSmurf&the Smurfs

April 29th, 2010
7:53 pm

Interesting. I’d like a bit more information on health care choice in Georgia. Shady United Health Care, even more shady Blue Cross Blue Shield & the shadiest Cigna dominate. For mail order prescriptions Medco is the only choice which is laughable since they don’t track initial orders and delivery time is erratic at best. What else is there?


April 29th, 2010
8:01 pm

Yes I want to opt out. I pay for my insurance though my employer and I dont feel like I should pay someone elses insurance when I dont need any more insurance. I am insurance poor and I dont want any more taxes to help people get what they DONT want to work for. The poor are covered by medicaid, the disabled are covered by medicare and medicaid. Its the lazy people and illegals they are looking to cover now and use my wages for.

Listen up people, enough is enough. Let the worker keep some of his hard earned money for a change. I mean we can all get out of bed in the morning, some of us just dont want to and those are the people I am very tired of supporting. I would opt out in a heart beat.


April 29th, 2010
8:08 pm

Tracie, MILLIONS of hard working Americans like you are one heart beat away from complete and total financial ruin because they made the lazy and stupid mistake of getting sick. Poor welfare recipients have had health care for decades. Obamacare is not for them. It is for the working people like you and I who need protection from Our Lord and Saviour the Free Market. And if you have employer health care…you still will! So, get a heart and soul, and stop buying into the fear.


April 29th, 2010
8:09 pm

“With the passage of my measure, we will all continue to enjoy those rights to purchase private or public healthcare, or decline to participate in any healthcare plan at all.”

The right of those of us who can afford it, and are accepted by our friends at the insurance companies.


April 29th, 2010
8:15 pm

django, from your use of the english language it’s obvious you’re either poor or an illegal

David S

April 29th, 2010
8:23 pm

Government created the healthcare mess we have now. The need to restore a truly free market, not just regarding insurance, but even the provision of medical care, the availability and free access to all potential medicines and information about them, and a complete elimination of all government restrictions, subsidies and controls is essential if we ever hope to make medical care affordable again (as it was before Medicare, the AMA monopoly, the FDA, etc.)

Eliminating the clearly unconstitutional mandate forcing americans to buy insurance from Washinton’s friends is clearly a step in the right direction, but all government involvement in medicine MUST be ended and this fight should not end until that is achieved.


April 29th, 2010
8:26 pm

Ignorance is bliss, isn’t it Tracie. Let’s all opt out, buy a horse and plant crops. GA is already loosing Federal money for transportation and education. Let’s see how well we do if they pull more money from the state for non compliance.


April 29th, 2010
8:37 pm

This is hysterical! This only proves how idiotic my neighbors in East Cobb really are if they think this is even a possibility. And Mr. Hill KNOWS IT”S NOT POSSIBLE. Federal law supersedes state law, kids. It passed. Get over it.

Audrey in Georgia

April 29th, 2010
8:38 pm

Tracie thinks she is going to be employed all of her life. She will never get sick, old or destitute.

bwahahaha, continued

April 29th, 2010
8:42 pm

No less than the Gipper’s Solicitor General shoots this asinine idea down better than I ever could:
“The notion that a state can just choose to opt out is just preposterous,” says former Reagan administration Solicitor General Charles Fried. “One is left speechless by the absurdity of it.”

Hill should be embarrassed, but his clueless constituents love it so why not!


April 29th, 2010
8:53 pm

Are any of you aware that the cost of the federal program will be pushed off on the state in a few years, so then Georgia will be responsible for the cost of insuring everyone not the federal government. If you are a part of it you will be covering the bill, not uncle sam. Lets go ahead and bankrupt Georgia, can you imagine how good a program can be that has the same governing that Social Security, medicare, & medicaid do. Those programs work great and will be around for forever, you need a system that stays in the black, not one that is destined from its makeup to lose money.


April 29th, 2010
8:54 pm

bwahahaha, You are the reason I left East Cobb! Why don’t you just come over and hold a gun to my head and take the money right out of my pocket? Better still, take my job and my home, also. That’s what you income re-distribution low life’s want. There is no other reason you can support this. PERIOD. Your day will come……

bwahahaha, continued

April 29th, 2010
9:13 pm

My day will come….for what, Vince? You mean the day I don’t have to worry about going more than 31 days without health coverage and risk losing insurance for myself and my entire family because I’m a cancer survivor? Yup, that day is coming because of this bill. Thanks!

All that money that gets taken out of your pocket at gunpoint, apparently, pays for the clean water you get to drink, the roads you drive on, the military that protects you, all kinds of crazy stuff. Sorry about that! I hope that off-the-grid commune free of the tyrannical feds that you’re obviously going to move to, since you feel so strongly about this issue, works out for you. You’ll still enjoy the protection of the military at the expense of the rest of us taxpayers, though, you freeloader!


April 29th, 2010
9:25 pm

Georgia is shameless and embarrasing. It has done little to nothing to reform health care in the past. It allows Georgians to be deemed uninsurable for the lamest of reasons. It has been a death sentence for so many innocent people. Who cares? Really.


April 29th, 2010
9:32 pm

Obviously you people commenting on this have a one track mind.

It’s not the healthcare reform I am against, it’s the cost. This “Obamacare” will eventually go as bankrupt as social security or put the U.S. in another financial crisis.

But you poor and destitute freeloaders don’t care about that because once you are dead and gone it won’t be your problem. As long as you get the benefits you’re fine with it. That’s what’s wrong with America. Too many people playing the system and not making their own way. The poor class of American’s always have an excuse too. “I am sick”, “I can’t work because of (insert problem)”.

How about you just go get a damn job. Take the harder road in life and go somewhere. Get your own health care. Take of yourself and not rely on the government. I’d rather flip a hamburger than apply for food stamps, government healthcare, and wel-fare. Have some pride.

I am sick of freeloaders and this government administration we have now is simply perpetuating more, and more of these kinds of people. It’s sick. The sooner this “poor mans” administration is out of Washington the better.


April 29th, 2010
9:35 pm

Good for you Mr. Hill. Communist liberal turds clouding up the good water.

bwahahaha, continued

April 29th, 2010
9:42 pm

I earn six figures, GT30, I’ve been working without stopping since I was 14 and have 2 college degrees. I’d still be 100% uninsurable, at any price, if either my spouse or I ever lost our employer-based coverage. The problems with our current health care system cannot be simplified into ‘poor people are lazy, get a job’. The law isn’t perfect, but it’s better than what we had before.

And a question for you – do you plan to *not* collect Social Security, on principle? Just curious.


April 29th, 2010
9:44 pm

Fine, let Georgian’s opt out. They need to add another amendment to say if you opt out, then Grady or any other hospital doesn’t have to care for you if you are brought there. People need to be aware of the consequences of their actions.


April 29th, 2010
9:45 pm

Poor naive Tracie just doesn’t get it…’re gonna pay no matter what anyway, hon.

Health insurance rates are going to skyrocket whether you like it or not. There is no competition in that market (health insurance is one of only two industries with anti-trust exemption….the other being Major League Baseball).

In the matter of a few years health insurance premiums will be as much as your car payment and mortgage COMBINED!

You won’t be able to afford the private coverage and your employer will most likely drop it as a bene since it makes no sense to offer something no one is buying since it’s so expensive.

So in other words…..damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

But hey, you’ll be looking at those exchanges set up by the Healthcare Reform Bill soon enough after the umpteenth increase in your premiums from Big Corporate Insurance.

You’ll see.

Gary G

April 29th, 2010
9:58 pm

If you think that Obamacare is a good thing, you are either misinformed, uneducated, or just dumb. See this link that explains that the quality of U.S. Healthcare is #1 in the world ( ). If you want the best, you have to pay for it. The quality of life in the United States is superior to that of any other country. If you have 10 of the 14 most common cancers, you have a much better chance to survive in the U.S. than any other country.

Tea Partier

April 29th, 2010
9:58 pm

bwahaha – if that is your reason for supporting healthcare, that’s a very narrow portion of the bill. Why couldn’t Congress just make it mandatory for health insurance companies to accept all applicants for health insurance, regardless of preexisting conditions? That would have solved a problem that, I think everyone can agree, existed. Instead, they have created a gargantuan bill that can’t be paid for without raising taxes at some point, thus continuing this administration’s socialist, “spread the wealth”, agenda.

Whether the state law can trump the federal statute is a problem, but as a person who pays for my own healthcare, I think it’s worth a shot at least. And for those of you whining about having to go to Grady, how many of you are on welfare/food stamps/etc…? Health care is NOT a birthright. It is a service, just like anything else. A service must be paid for. It should not be someone else’s job to pay for a service being provided to you.

Gary G

April 29th, 2010
10:03 pm

I don’t expect to draw Social Security based on the fact that it is Bankrupt. The government (both parties) took our money and lied to us. We would have been much better off had we had invested the money that they took (by force) from our paychecks in the stock market. there is no 10 year period in the last 100 years of hte stock market that we would have made less mnoey than the amount we would get from Social Security. The Rate of Return of the “investment” in Social Security is about 1.5%. The average rate from the stock market is over 8%. And, your children can inherate the private investment, not social security. Social Secutity is the worst investment anyone could make, and we are being forced to making it by the government.


April 29th, 2010
10:13 pm

Tracie – what are you opting out of? You already have insurance through your employer. You are not going to be required to buy MORE.

This state is just full of stupid.

bwahahaha, continued

April 29th, 2010
10:16 pm

Tea Partier, I agree that’s a narrow portion of the bill and that it’s an issue that could have been solved with a targeted law to fix that, solely. But pre-existing conditions and portability are not the only reasons I support the overhaul, just the main personal, ‘my family’ reason. From a broader policy perspective, the money that the federal government is already spending to deal with the health costs of the uninsured will be put to a much better use by getting people into private insurance plans (and NOT single-payer care which I do not support) and utilizing preventative care to identify high blood pressure before it becomes kidney failure, primary care visits to get an antibiotic before it becomes pneumonia and a week-long stay in the hospital that’s not covered, etc etc etc. The price tag on this bill is big, I know. But it’s not like money isn’t already being spent, you just don’t know it when your payroll taxes get deducted. You’re paying for illegals to have babies in ERs across America, for the working poor to be admitted for days for pneumonia because their sinus infection went completely untreated for months, and for gunshot wounds from drive-bys whether this bill passed or not. Sorry. Let’s at least spend the money more wisely. It’s already gone.

This bill incorporates a lot of the ideas that conservatives proposed in response to Hillarycare in the 90’s and that Mitt Romney used to form the MA state plan. The Heritage Foundation, in particular, has tried to run from its prior support of ideas like the individual mandate and expanding Medicaid eligibility once it was a Democrat and not a Republican proposing them. Regardless, it’s not single-payer. I think we can all agree we’re happy about that.

Billy Bob from cobb

April 29th, 2010
11:15 pm

Under this bill the insurance companys will be broke within 6 years. If you thought the gm bailout was something you havent seen nothing yet. 45 percent of the drs will quit…. and the cost will be at least 50x what they lied about. But the look on the deadbeats faces when the rations start will be priceless. by the way if this is such a good program then why is obama and the rest in washington not joining the great unwashed in this great social experiment. by the way those evil rich will still get better care than the welfare wealth grabbers

Billy Bob from cobb

April 29th, 2010
11:18 pm

Is it true that obamas muslim brothers are exempt from the mandate?


April 29th, 2010
11:37 pm

One of the previous posters had their finger on the end result here…eventually, all health care costs will sky-rocket and everyone will be forced into a single-payer system, which the President is on record as saying that he favors that idea…once the elephant gets his nose under the tent, his whole body will follow..curiously, there is no competition from state to state and no tort reform in this bill…wonder why that is? Also, it is not a question of insuring the un-insured, whose number fluctuates between 12 and 40 million…the idea here is to get everyone into the single-payer system where, as admitted by an Obama official just the other day, will lead to the rationing of health care and some governing board determining whether or not you get treated…actually if you are over probably 45 and under probably 14, you won’t get treatment anyway…enjoy our new socialized medicine!

Billy Bob from cobb

April 29th, 2010
11:40 pm

The hard working just need to face the fact that they will never be able to out breed the entitlement crowd. We need to stop working our a**es off to support them and join their little party. Its the only way to defeat them. When we have nothing left to steal then they will starve. They are using our work ethic as a weapon to make us their slaves. How else does a community organizer make a living?


April 29th, 2010
11:54 pm

All of you ignoramuses who oppose the new HCR law are plumb dumb. Each of us is better off if we’re all in one universal insurance pool. Even if you have a six figure income per yr., one catastrophic illness can force you into bankruptcy. As long as I’m able & well, I don’t mind paying to help the needy as long as I can count on being helped when I need it.

Dave The Insured

April 30th, 2010
4:47 am

This law will be found to be unconstitutional. The Republicans are just not going to give up and join the team. Partisan politics is what makes them happy and makes us suffer. No wonder the Georgia General Assembly is so clumsy and self serving.


April 30th, 2010
5:48 am

It is mandatory that hospitals treat you if you show up on their doorstep with an emergency even if you don’t have insurance. Those expenses they “write off” are really just spread around to the rest of us who do have insurance. The services are mandatory, so it needs to be mandatory for everyone to have insurance.

aaron humes

April 30th, 2010
8:42 am

If so-called “rich” people can’t get more from the revenue department than they paid in, why should so-called “poor” people who pay nothing in?

aaron humes

April 30th, 2010
8:44 am

django – you, sir, are an idiot.

[...] going to get a health care freedom bill. Sen. Judson Hill, the main mover behind the idea, said, “With the passage of my measure, we [...]


April 30th, 2010
10:36 am

I am glad this law has been passed,evryone is going to find out obama ’s healthcare plan is going to cost evryone , the quality of healthcare is going to go down and yes there will be rationing of healthcare , cause obama is out to give free medical care to the illegal’s who are here , so he can keep the hispanic votes , so there fore , insurance premiums along with medicines are gonna go up to pay for the free services for those who don’t deserve it, I personally haven’t ben to a doctor since 1982 and being forced to buy insurance isn;t going to make me want to start going to doctors , I try to stay as far away from them as possible , cause like the government , I don’t trust them, so for once the legislature done some go , by looking out for out rights ,

Saul Good

April 30th, 2010
11:14 am

Fluffy… watch Fox News much? Finish the 9th grade? Because if you don’t think insurance companies already “ration” health care…you must live in a bubble. You’re a perfect example of the kind of morons the republicans (who now call themselves both libertarians and tea-baggers since Bush…whom they put into office…TWICE)…just love to spin fear and lies to. Reminds me of WMD’s and those who supported the war in Iraq in the first place.

Yeah…spending a trillion dollars over 10 years on healthcare really sucks compared to the trillion dollars we spent in only FIVE years over in Iraq. Let me guess…you supported that right from the start right?

Try not to be so afraid… fear leads to irrational thoughts and cripples the thought process.



April 30th, 2010
8:15 pm

Since when did it become my responsibility to furnish healthcare for my employees? They drive a car to work. Maybe I should provide ins. for that too. And they need to eat during the day so maybe I should furnish them lunch. They need work clothes, shoes, etc, I’ll furnish that too. In fact, I’ll just buy them all new cars. And gas, they need gas to get to work….
Folks, You can’t figure why your jobs are going to Mexico and China. You want cheap products to buy at Wal-mart and Publix. Govt regulations are killing the employers in this country. Wake up before all your jobs are gone. And by the way, get off Tracie.


April 30th, 2010
8:36 pm

I can’t wait to get my govt healthcare. I’m sure it will be wonderful. After all, Govt is just so efficient at all the programs it runs. Let’s see, There is all OUR $$ we put in their care for retirement {Soc Sec}. Then there’s the Post Office. And how about the Dept of Energy. Now there’s a good one. A gift from good ole Peanut Carter. 17000 govt employees with a job to get us off ARAB OIL. 25 years later and look how far we have come. Oh yes, I can’t wait for another wonderful gift from Uncle Sam….. Some of us can take care of ourselves and others are so incompetent they need the Govt to do it for them.

Sharon Tipton

May 3rd, 2010
1:56 pm

Does one even wonder if one of those many reasons that Georgia won’t have to do the Obama Care scene might be that CNN is based in Atlanta, Georgia and probaly many others that are part of that Liberal Left Media as well. Just curious if anyone gave thought to this little reason maybe?


May 4th, 2010
7:38 pm

It really just kills me when people say stupid stuff as far I am not going to pay for this and that in regards to taxes. Taxes are the governments money they do as they please in the end. The last time I checked it was the Republicans that refuse to pay taxes on their big profits. Maybe if these big corporations would stop sending our jobs overseas maybe we had more employed people. In the last week I contacted SunTrust support, Bank of America support only to talk to some Indian Support Center about my bank accounts in the US, then I contacted Comcast in regards to my cable and I get somebody from India, I had an issue with Advanced Auto Parts contacted Corporate and received a customer service email from another indian where I know that they were not in the U.S. So only ONE week I deal with 4 major U.S. companies but had to deal with folks in India. That is where our jobs are!

David Downs

May 5th, 2010
8:22 am

There’s really nothing to opt out of if you read the bill. We have the greatest country in the world, but not when you’re between jobs or self-employed. The insurance companies are holding us hostage… that’s why we cannot buy insurance across state lines (like you can any other insurance). Fixing that problem would help a lot! Only in the USA can a fine upstanding and hard-working citizen bankrupt themselves and their families for getting sick. As one of the 20% of Americans who hold a passport, I shop my medical procedures around… usually outside the USA. See Sanjay Gupta’s medical report on this subject. We, as a nation of dumb-dumbs, voted to make the insurance companies our undisputed Lords.

[...] On April 29, 2010, the Georgia Legislature approved SB411, titled the “Healthy Georgians Act of 2010.” The bill was amended to include SB317 and [...]