Catching up: Casey Cagle on the impact of Democratic health care reform

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle had an op-ed piece in the Washington Times last week, characterizing health care reform as something that could cripple state government.

Read the entire thing here, but this is the gist:

Georgia would be one of just 14 states that would see the Medicaid-eligible population balloon by 45 percent. In fact, if the bill passes, the Heritage Foundation research indicates that as many as 1 in 5 Georgians would have access to a government-run health care entitlement.

Estimates indicate that over the five-year life span of the bafflingly titled Affordable Health Care for America Act, more than $2.4 billion in new expenses would be added to our state’s budget. Even a “watered down” alternative also being proposed could cost as much as $2 billion for Georgians.

This additional financial burden would crush our state budget. In Georgia, we have already witnessed a massive state budget shortfall caused by deteriorating economic conditions and dramatically lower tax revenue. Unlike Washington, our state constitution requires us to balance the budget each year.

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5 comments Add your comment

Churchill's MOM

November 30th, 2009
10:38 am

As much as I dislike Cagle, he would have been a better choice than the other men running for Governor. Too bad he got stabbed in the back by Deal.

GoKaren

November 30th, 2009
11:00 am

CMOM,
I agree, that’s why we need Karen Handel for Governor

Concerned

November 30th, 2009
11:09 am

I think Mr. Cagle points out some good points about the propoed Health Care refom in Congress, however I feel he does so in an overpoliticized manner. There is no need to make all these democrat and republican distinctions if we are really just trying to help more people be insured while also tending to Georgia’s budget. Anywho, in the full article Mr. Cagle gave two initiatives that he says are better health solutions and work within the state’s budget: “Safety Net Clinics initiative” and the “Health Care Marketplace initiative.”

According to the Lt. Gov.’s website, the Safety Net Clinics are basically free clinics to those who are uninsured. The clinics are staffed by volunteer doctors who are shielded from malpractice liability. This sounds like a good initiative, however I dont see it really getting at the heart of Georgia or the nation’s health care problems. This initiative leaves all those who cannot afford health care to line up at free clinics, which will probbly be understaffed, to receive health care. These would be incredibly ineffective due to the numbers of uninsured in GA compared to how many health care professionals can afford to offer free services on a regular basis. Even if there was a system where all doctors somehow rotated through the Safety Net Clinic System, there could never be enough doctors who could leave their jobs at a hospital or personal practice to dedicate the time these Clinics need to be effective. Furthermore, I feel that the brunt of the responsibility will fall on the doctors in private practice, as they can more freely manipulate thier hours than doctors who work in hospitals.

The second initiative is good addition to the health care system as well, but it falls short of helping those who are uninsured. According to the Lt. Gov.’s site “This type of “insurance marketplace” would be a clearinghouse for health insurance products, bringing together insurance providers and consumers in a streamlined, web-based system…With just a few clicks of a mouse, people can check the availability and price of a variety of products and select the type of insurance that would work best for them.”

This initiative is focused on those who can afford and qualify for healthcare currently. it does nothing to change the policies of health care providers that many feel is a large reason why some cannot afford healthcare. However, for those who can afford healthcare, this would be a nice system. To play devils advocate to my own point, the system almost could be seen as waste because at it does is replace the footwork a consumer should do in looking for the right insurance plan. It basically allows state funds to be used to provide convenience to the consumer.

There is my two cents (lol, ok maybe $2 worth since I wrote so much). I just hope that the partisan bickering can stop and we can focus on plans to fix the problem as best we can. If the current plan is no good, people need to hit the drawing board and present the better option. Its that simple.

LegalTruth

November 30th, 2009
11:10 am

Mary’s Poor Ethical Decisions and Judgment: Irresponsible LeadershipMary has displayed poor ethical leadership. She voted to establish ethical standards for elected public officials such as herself and then afterwards voted to repeal those same standards, to allow herself, other elected officials and certain employees to receive unethical gifts, meals and ticket prohibited by law. She also signed a document that supported the irresponsible spending of millions of city funds. Mary has acknowledged the nature of her actions: she admitted to each action as being a mistake. But she only tried to rectify each “mistake” after being highly criticized.

Ø On March 10, 2002 Mary Norwood voted for ordinance 02-O-0377, an ordinance that strengthened the ethical standards of City Council Members and other public officials, by disallowing elected officials such as Mary from receiving tickets, gifts and other items of value from people doing business with the city.[1]

Ø HOWEVER, On May 15, 2006, Mary voted in favor of an ordinance that repealed the established ethical standards she had helped establish by vote, just 4 years prior. The new “unethical” standards Mary supported granted appointed and elected officials, and 8,000 city employees, the right to accept free meals up to $75 and tickets up to $100 from people doing business with the city,[2] in direct violation of the law.[3] Moreover, the new ordinance did not establish any reporting requirements or restriction on the source of gifts.[4] (See Exhibit 6.)

Ø Mayor Franklin immediately vetoed the ordinance, stating that “we cannot accomplish anything… if we lose public trust…in order for the city to move forward, we have to have the public trust.”[5]

Ø When asked why she had voted in favor of an ordinance that attempted to overrule the city’s ethical standard, one that she helped establish, Mary stated:

“My reason is I was completely distracted. I made a mistake. I should have voted against it.”[6]

Mary’s “completely distracted” excuse for attempting to overturn the city’s established ethical code, which she had voted for, isn’t the only time she irresponsibly supported questionable actions.

Ø In the same year, 2006, Mary signed a letter to NASCAR, a letter that committed $62 million dollars of city’s backed funds to build a NASCAR hall of fame. The letter did not mention any time line for repayment of the funds or any other common sense details that one would want to see before signing. When asked why she signed such a letter (she had her staffer sign the letter), Mary stated that:

“I thought I just signed a letter that said ‘I love NASCAR.’”[7]

This is a very poor excuse for several reasons. First, why would you have your staffer sign a letter, which clearly committed millions of dollars of city funds? Second, why would you endorse city fund expenditures without understanding the details involved in the transaction? Third, would a strong, accountable leader do such a thing?

[1] See copy “Amending the Code of Ordinance of the Cit of Atlanta so as to Delete Chapter 2, Article VII, Division 2 Standards of Conduct in its Entirety and Replace it with New Standards of Conduct; and for Other Purposes. Substitute Ordinance as Amended by Atlanta City Council. Ordinance 02-O-0377. (Copy on file); see also Resolution Urging the Atlanta City Council to Sustain the Mayor’s Veto of Ordinance 06-0-0980. May 18, 2006. City of Atlanta Board of Ethics
[2] Mayor Keeps Vow to Nix Council’s Ok of Freebies.” May 19, 2006. Atlanta Journal Constitution
[3] Mary voted in favor of this ordinance despite the fact that the city ethics board had established a long standing rule that city officials accepting tickets is “unethical.” And the City Council had already made it illegal to accept these types of tickets. Ord. No. 2002-27, § 1, 4-10-02; Our opinion; These Gluttons Deserve Punishment; Mayor’s Veto of Freebies Ordinance Shouldn’t Let City Council Members Off the Hook for their Foolish Decision.” May 19, 2006. Atlanta Journal Constitution: see also FAO Gifts of Tickets to Athletic and Entertainment Events, at http://www.atlantaga.gov/government/boards/boardofethics.fao2004-7.aspx
[4] Resolution Urging the Atlanta City Council to Sustain the Mayor’s Veto of Ordinance 06-0-0980. May 18, 2006. City of Atlanta Board of Ethics.
[5] Id.
[6] Our opinion; These Gluttons Deserve Punishment; Mayor’s Veto of Freebies Ordinance Shouldn’t Let City Council Members Off the Hook for their Foolish Decision.” May 19, 2006. Atlanta Journal Constitution.
[7] “ NASCAR Hall of Fame: Mayor Boosts Bid Without Funds in Hand. March 3, 2006. Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Concerned

November 30th, 2009
11:29 am

Come on “LegalTruth,” dont do that. There are plenty of blogs addressing the mayoral race…go post your comments there. Also, that is no way to get votes and I am sure Kasim nor his campaign appreciate your efforts as they probably only hurt Kasim. Get it together.