ALEC Commends Georgia Governor and Legislators for Passing Patient-Centered Health Care Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 17, 2011) – The American Legislative Exchange Council applauds Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia for signing House Bill 47 into law. The legislation, which allows residents to purchase quality, affordable health insurance outside of Georgia if they desire, is based on ALEC’s model Health Care Choice Act for States. ALEC’s legislative delegation in Georgia has worked for a number of years in crafting this important and timely legislation, and their hard work has paid off.
“As a principled advocate of free markets, limited government and patient choice, ALEC is excited about the competition and consumer choice supported by House Bill 47,” said Christie Herrera, director of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force. “We hope many other states will follow Georgia’s lead and promote patient choice in the near future.”
House Bill 47 allows Georgia residents to purchase health insurance coverage from neighboring states that have fewer mandates. According to the Council for Affordable Health Insurance, Georgia currently has 45 government-imposed mandates, as opposed to nearby states like Alabama (19 mandates) and South Carolina (29 mandates). The bill also allows Georgians who want more extensive benefits to “top up” for richer coverage in neighboring Florida (49 mandates) or nearby Texas (60 mandates). House Bill 47 will expand patient access to better coverage options if they exist in nearby states.
According to www.ehealthinsurance.com, prior to the passage of House Bill 47, an uninsured Georgian looking for coverage in the individual market would pay, on average $163/month. Thanks to Gov. Deal and many legislators, Georgians will be able to find more affordable average monthly premiums in neighboring Alabama ($126/month), Tennessee ($151/month), North Carolina ($142/month) or South Carolina ($154/month).
Fifteen states have introduced in the 2011 session. Wyoming became the first state to pass the model in 2010, and this year, Oklahoma is expected to send a similar bill to the governor’s desk.
ALEC is encouraged by the signing of this bill, proud of the legislators who helped enact it, and looks forward to more patient-centered, free-market health care legislation in all 50 states.
For more information, please visit www.alec.org.
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The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is the nation’s largest nonpartisan individual membership association of state legislators, with nearly 2,000 state legislators across the nation and more than 100 alumni members in Congress. ALEC’s mission is to promote free markets, individual liberty, and federalism through its model legislation in the states.