One Georgia Republican took a stand for a real plan to save Georgia’s hospitals during the last legislative session.
This Republican, State Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, is a self-described, Obamacare-hating conservative from Rome.
He is not a moderate Republican in a “purple” district in one of Georgia’s more progressive cities. No, all of those kinds of “moderate” Republicans voted in lockstep with Gov. Nathan Deal and his supermajority.
But Sen. Hufstetler works at Redmond Regional Medical Center and he couldn’t keep quiet as HB 990 came to a vote.
Sen. Hufstetler is the only Republican to vote ‘no’ on the bill to take the decision of whether to expand Medicaid out of the hands of the governor.
His speech to his fellow senators is well worth every minute it will take you to watch it.
Sen. Hufstetler starts by making the point that refusing to accept additional Medicaid money in exchange for taxes we’ve already paid is a reversal of a policy approved by the same legislature last year.
He also ran down a list of Republican governors who have found ways to expand health care coverage to the working poor in their states. His list included governors in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Utah.
And Sen. Hufstetler knows that giving up billions upon billions of dollars will cost thousands of health care jobs — with no positive impact on the federal deficit.
Our tax dollars are now leaving Georgia and going into states that have accepted federal funding for health coverage.
“I believe this transfer of wealth is going to hurt Georgia,” Sen. Hufstetler said.
Four rural hospitals have already shut down under Gov. Deal’s watch. It is clear that the governor’s policies are already hurting Georgia.