But in Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal has decided to stand in the hospital door and block access to affordable health care.
Along with insurance commissioner Ralph Hudgens and the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party, Gov. Deal is working hard to make sure Georgians never see the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.
On Sunday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution took a long look at the coordinated effort to obstruct a law that was passed by Congress, signed by the President and approved by the Supreme Court.
The newspaper introduces us to Elizabeth Hartley Filliat, 70, a retired teacher who lives in Alpharetta.
She correctly describes the state’s obstruction tactics as a “matter of life and death.”
“No one who is battling so intensely for their lives should also simultaneously have to battle for-profit insurance companies,” said Filliat, who has a relative struggling to get insurance coverage.
“And it seems totally unconscionable that politics should play such a strong hand from being fully enforced in Georgia.”
But Gov. Deal has chosen a stubborn, partisan and politically motivated position instead of working to find the best way to assist more than 1.5 million Georgia residents.
About one in five Georgians don’t have health insurance.
This is one of the highest uninsured rates in the nation. An estimated 650,000 low-income Georgians would have gained coverage under an expanded Medicaid but won’t because of Gov. Deal’s work to obstruct the law.
In addition, the newspaper reports another 900,000 residents are expected to shop on the Federal health insurance exchange that opens Oct. 1.
Gov. Deal has done nothing to educate Georgia residents about the benefits of the new health exchange.
Many Georgians will never learn that after years of being denied health care coverage because of pre-existing conditions they are finally eligible for affordable coverage.
It’s wrong for Gov. Deal and Commissioner Hudgens to obstruct health coverage for so many Georgia residents, including the poorest families in the state. (Watch the video).
It’s wrong for a radical minority of Georgia voters to stand in the way of a law that will benefit so many.
And it’s wrong for Gov. Deal to stand in the hospital door.