Posted: 4:54 pm Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Jason Carter blisters Nathan Deal for ‘passing the buck’ on Medicaid expansion 

By Jim Galloway

This morning we judged H.B. 990 to be the most important bill of the 2014 legislative session. Now we’re predicting it will be be one of the hottest issues of the governor’s race.

State Sen. Jason Carter, the Democrat challenging Nathan Deal’s re-election bid, this afternoon blistered the governor for his “amazing” acquiescence to a House GOP plan to strip the executive branch of its power to expand Medicaid in Georgia.

JasonCarter.615x737

Sen. Jason Carter, D-Atlanta. AJC file

“To me, it is more evidence that he’s doing everything he can in refusing the responsibility of leadership,” Carter said. “It’s an unbelievable example of him passing the buck.”

H.B. 990 is sponsored by Speaker pro tem Jan Jones, R-Milton; Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge; Majority Leader Larry O’Neal, R-Bonaire; and the governor’s floor leader, Chad Nimmer, R-Blackshear.

At a noon press conference on the aftermath of the latest winter storm, just before he departed for a helicopter tour of Augusta, I asked the governor if he supported the bill.

“I’m fine with that, yeah,” Deal replied.

H.B. 990 would require legislative approval to expand Medicaid rolls by 600,000 or so – which once was a required portion of the Affordable Care Act, and now is only a polite offer. The feds would finance all of the health care costs for the first three years and cover 90 percent of the costs thereafter.

Deal has said he doesn’t trust the federal government to keep up its end of the bargain, and has steadfastly refused the cash. But other governors have cut deals with the White House on the use of the billions of dollars made available.

Carter, preparing the first well-financed Democratic assault on a sitting Republican governor, has indicated his willingness to go this route. Which H.B. 990 would prevent – should Carter beat Deal in November.

In a telephone interview, the grandson of the former president pointed out that the new bill surfaced on the same day that the 25-bed Lower Oconee Community Hospital in Wheeler County closed its doors. The private hospital laid off “some” of its 100 employees, at least temporarily, according to 13WMAZ in Macon. More hospitals in rural Georgia are expected to follow suit.

This is one of the ironies of Obamacare. Because it was designed with an expansion of Medicaid in mind, federal funding to hospitals that treat the indigent has been trimmed – and has not been replaced. Lower Oconee is one of many hospitals caught in the economic pinch.

Carter accused the governor of trying to escape blame for the squeeze that Georgia hospitals are feeling – by handing the decision off to the Legislature. “[The bill] is just focused on the political question that’s on the governor’s desk,” the Atlanta senator said. “You’ve got jobs at stake, and you got the governor saying he doesn’t want the responsibility.”

The state senator portrayed H.B. 990 as part of a pattern shown by Deal – whose campaign last week began an effort to point parents to local school boards on the matter of teacher pay raises.

80 comments
SoGAVet
SoGAVet

"I'm not trying it, you try it"


Nathan's deal is passing the buck:

- "It was the weatherman's fault."
- "I don't want responsibility for saving hospitals and providing Medicaid benefits for Georgians - let the legislature do it."
- "I don't want to give teachers a raise, let the local boards of education do it."

RantNRave
RantNRave

Jason Carter in 2014

Deal......NO Deal

Bernie31
Bernie31

Georgia is a BUBBA State Run By BUBBA's...one can only expect Bubba decisions...NOT SMART!

Derwin0
Derwin0

The General Assembly is responsible for passing money bills in Georgia.  So how is it shirking his responsibility in having the General Assembly pass any bills that will cost the State of Georgia money?

TheRealJDW
TheRealJDW

"There is no guarantee and can be no guarantee that the share will remain at 90%. "


There is no guarantee and can be no guarantee that the share of highway funding from the federal government will remain the same.  Should we pull out of that program as well?  For that matter lets pull out of Medicaid altogether because there is no guarantee that current funding levels will remain intact.


That argument bears a striking resemblance to Chicken Little.

Joeleejohnson
Joeleejohnson

'Pears to me our governor is adopting a long-standing federal policy of not negotiating with terrorists. 

'Course the irony is that a 'Tried 'n True' BIG GOVERNMENT democrat. Jason,  takes exception.  

GB101
GB101

The feds would finance all of the health care costs for the first three years and cover 90 percent of the costs thereafter.


True, but not the whole story.  Current law says that after three years the federal taxpayers will pay 90%.  However, no Congress can bind the actions of a future Congress.  Congress makes law; Congress changes laws.  There is no guarantee and can be no guarantee that the share will remain at 90%.  The statement that the governor does not trust Congress makes it seem that a promise has been made and the governor fears the promise will be broken.  The fact is that no promise has been made.  

BuckheadBoy
BuckheadBoy

Or to put it another way, injurious Republican policy can be more likely sustained by a body of petty crooks and generally dismal people than a single one.

PSWallace
PSWallace

I hope in a Jason Carter-Michelle Nunn Georgia there is room for those of us who have had to actually earn by ourselves whatever little presitge we have, and who aren't of a trendy background or helpful to the Great Grand Cause of the Democratic Party. My guess is there will be, but perhaps not something absolutely matching merit. For these aren't those kind of times.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

I think - since the consensus of the cons here is that this blog is a Dem shill sheet - that every time you post the picture of Jason above, you should put Governor Deal's grimacing picture next to it.

Carter would win in a landslide.  Everyone would vote for a fresh face - except of course, for the angry old white guys that td references below....

TrueBlueDem
TrueBlueDem

Yet our Hypocrite Governor Deal is about to quietly implement a plan to parole the sickest 150 inmates in Georgia prisons and place them in a private nursing home in Milledgeville. The Affordable Care Act does not cover 'incarcerated' inmates, but by having the Parole Board grant parole status to these very ill inmates, they are no longer considered 'incarcerated', and the Federal government will be picking up the tab for an estimated $90 million a year in medical expenses. These ill inmates include quiet a few HIV cases and serious cancer illnesses, etc. A majority of these inmates are serving life without parole thanks to the Three Strikes And You're Out policies of the past. There will be over 200 State Corrections employees terminated due to this plan. The terminated employees will be told they can apply for their old jobs with the private sector nursing home owner, but the salaries and benefits will be lower. Wonder why the AJC hasn't reported on this?

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

We knew Deal was not too bright.  Jason Carter has this poor old guy by the short hairs.  Is this the most obvious attempt to avoid responsibility since ... gee ... the last 2 inch snow storm?  Sure - relinquish administrative authority to Jan Jones (New Orleans cheerleader - see Steinbeck's 'Travels With Charley').   This woman only has one agenda - personal greed - coupled with a UGA Sorority-infused racism.  She does not care about anybody or anything.  Wow - I think Jason Carter just got himself elected.

td1234
td1234

"Carter, preparing the first well-financed Democratic assault on a sitting Republican governor"


Roy did not have a well funded campaign 4 years ago? What about the funding Barnes had when he was the sitting governor and Sonny beat him. 

concernedoldtimer
concernedoldtimer

HEY, young man...we do not want, nor can we afford the added expense when no more comes from Washington...do you not get....we are OUT of money. Other people's money is running out.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

Yet "Nate" made sure he keeps as much federal reimbursement money for this storm (the match) by continuing the state of emergency through at least Sunday.  Now, he was not willing to accept 100% federal money for Medicaid expansion for 3 years, and after that 10%.  Of course, the snow fell on the wealthy, but the Medicaid money would make life easier for the poor people--well, we can't "afford" to help them!


Gotta get rid of this guy.

Bernie31
Bernie31

Folks this is turning out to be the classic Biblical Story of David and Goliath. Goliath the all Powerful and flush with massive DEAL DOUGH campaign funds is Governor Deal. 

Jason Carter is the inexperienced but Heavenly Blessed warrior and sheep herder David. As David prepares to do Battle with Goliath, those who are Truly Christian should pray for our Junior warrior. Jason has put on the armor of God and is READY!


We must prepare and get Ready TOO!

Derwin0
Derwin0

Constitutionally, Deal probably can't approve the Medicaid expansion, and future costs, without the General Assembly's approval.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@TheRealJDW - The argument is stupid and make no sense at ALL. Only to the Republican Brain can such a connection of denial of reality be achieved so simply.

MoFaux
MoFaux

@GB101 As TheRealJDW eloquently pointed out, your logic is quite flawed.  Fear of Congress changing laws in the future in ways you don't like is not a valid reason to not pass them as they are currently written.  It's a picture-perfect straw man argument.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

That's a bogus argument, GB, imho.  No Democratic Congress is going to end the Medicaid program.

But even if some future Congress did that, then GA could make adjustments as they saw fit at that time - that's no reason to reject the cash now, and watch our rural hospitals close, as the money goes to other states instead.

honested
honested

@GB101  

With a continued reduction in flat-earth republicans in Congress over the next three cycles, you can count on the PROMISE.

quaterhorselady
quaterhorselady

@PSWallace  In a "Jason Carter-Michelle Nunn" Georgia...ALL will be welcome.  Democrats are inclusive and hard working..."something absolutely matching merit"?   I don't know where you're from, but I come from a long line of hard-working, inclusive, thinking, compassionate Democrats.  Perhaps you need to take off the blinders and look at your neighbors.

quaterhorselady
quaterhorselady

@CherokeeCounty  Jason Carter is what IS needed, here in Georgia!  A refreshingly new (younger) intelligent, thoughtful governor.  Deal is 71, narrow-minded and stuck in his good ol' boy ways that are endangering the lives of many!

anothercomment
anothercomment

@TrueBlueDem They have been quietly doing that for sometime now. A friend of mine, who I never heard mention of her brother. Suddenly her brother, was out of prison. Next, he was dying of terminal cancer and on Medicaid. Next some piece of trash with kids married him for benefits for her and her kids. He had no legitimate earnings to even qualify of regular SSI D. or Medicare. But once he got a to sick the wife, disappeared dropping him off at Grady. Then they needed her to sign stuff on the day he died at Grady. She wouldn't show back up. She didn't want to get charged. Turned out she added him to her work life insurance, so she was going to make out big. But refused to pay for a funeral. But she tried to get her kids eligible for SSI after he died. They weren't he had no earnings. Even his bio kids weren't he had always been in jail.


This scam has been going on with the state of Georgia for a while now. Then their is a group who their friends are clerks down at the clinics or parole or where ever. That marry them for the extra check from Medicaid for them and their kids.


My friend was so mad that someone would do this to her brother, basically treated him like a piece of crap at 33. He did not have anywhere near a life sentence in Prison. But he got one. He got Brain cancer with no treatment until it was too late.

honested
honested

@TrueBlueDem  

Why hasn't the AJC reported on this........

Some blind allegiance to the imaginary 'free market' I guess.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@TrueBlueDem


"There will be over 200 State Corrections employees terminated due to this plan. The terminated employees will be told they can apply for their old jobs with the private sector nursing home owner, but the salaries and benefits will be lower."

=====================================================


The downsizing of state employees, including teachers, by Republican leaders is going to end up hurting this state, in the long run, because that rigid ideology of "killing the beast of government" is an extremely out-of-balance concept. State workers should remain public servants paid by the state of Georgia. The state will, still, have to pay private companies for the same services their own state workers would have provided, without a profit motive. These service workers will be used by businesses like peons, who are given no respect and tossed to the wind without financial security. This is very much the opposite view of equal justice and egalitarianism espoused by our Founding Fathers. I hold my head in sadness and shame for our misguided Republican leaders' worship of private markets over governmental service today.  There should be a balance between the private and public sectors of our American society, which is sorely lacking today.


td1234
td1234

@Ralph-43  Carter CAN NOT win. Whomever the Republican nominee is for Governor and Senator will spend nearly $20 million saying nothing more than Obamacare, Obamacare, Obamacare and the traditional old white voters in non presidential year elections north of Atlanta and in rural areas of the state will come out in droves to vote for all politicians with an R beside their name to send Obama a clear message from Georgia. 


The only way Dems have to effect the election is to turn out on May 20th and vote for the most moderate candidates in the Republican primary. 

Derwin0
Derwin0

@td1234  Or even the Big Guy, when he ran against Sonny.  Both Taylor and Barnes ran well financed campaigns the last 2 elections, only to fail miserably.  And both enjoyed statewide recognition that wasn't soley based on being someone's grandson.

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

Just a point. Federal deficit is down over 2/3 since 2009.

...in a state where we're supposed to care about each other, helping hundreds of thousands for about a 2.8% increase in expenditures over 10 years seems smart. The 2.8 doesn't account for substantial economic impact of federal infusion.

Really an economic no brainier.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@concernedoldtimer  And the state can afford to give money (by letting people use their state tax money) to give "scholarships" to "deserving children" in private schools.  And there is NO WAY allowed to check to be sure those "scholarships" are not going to the children and grandchildren of the givers.  SO, the rest of us pick up their share of taxes for prisons, roads, etc.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@concernedoldtimer - But The State of Georgia can back a 1.2 Billion Dollar Football stadium in Atlanta for the local Billionaire. But when it comes to the POOR & NEEDY, all of sudden the Powerful become the MEALY MOUSE Whiners of what WE Cannot do.

uh...huh

td1234
td1234

@Bernie31  Carter is a warrior of God but represents the party that denied God three times at their last convention. 

Derwin0
Derwin0

@CherokeeCounty  "That's a bogus argument, GB, imho.  No Democratic Congress is going to end the Medicaid program."


They won't, but they would change the cost sharing portions.  Don't forget, the Democrats are the ones that pass the law to tax Social Security earnings.  I wouldn't put it past them, or the Republicans, in increase State's portions of Medicaid.

anothercomment
anothercomment

@td1234 @Ralph-43 Georgia has had the 6th highest amount of people sign up for OBAMACARE in the first 4 months. I helped 4 people sign up, they all live in Republican Northside towns. Only two counted in the 3.4 million number so far signed up. One who is 26 will show up next month. Another who is 16 was referred to Peachcare but his mother didn't want to go to Peachcare, so he is signed up as a new member of a Private Plan. (That Private Plan is reporting 200,000 new members so far.)


So your scare tactics of Obama care Obamacre are not going to work. The people I helped are saving $275/mo for the 26 year old and $800/mo for the mother and son. The other person is 63 years old from Johnscreek and could not buy insurance for 20 years.


Every doctor I go to say they are getting new patients who are happy. The drug store is getting new customers.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@td1234

Carter CAN NOT win.

Whistling past the graveyard.

Someone get the smelling "sauce", stat!

quaterhorselady
quaterhorselady

@td1234 @Bernie31  I watched the WHOLE convention and don't know what the point is you are desperately trying to make!  I also watched the Republican show.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

"the party that denied God three times"

Not true, of course, but carry on........

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@BurroughstonBroch For example, my pension is paid to me by the Teachers' Retirement System of the state of Georgia and not by the DeKalb School System. It was the TRS of Georgia that invested my own money to have the funds to pay me in my retirement, as it does for all teachers in the state of Georgia, not just for one school system.  Moreover, my medical plan is through the Department of Community Health, or the State Health Benefit Plan, which is the same plan that is provided to all state employees in Georgia, including public school teachers throughout the state even though teachers are given contracts and salary during their active years through their local school systems.  Moreover, Georgia's Legislature can pass laws which affect state employees statewide, as well as those which affect school teachers statewide.

Kamchak
Kamchak

Just what goes into 'smelling sauce'? 


It's td's creation so I'm not quite sure, but I believe it is served on Cantor's nothingburger at Dweeby's Rock and Roll Bar and Shrills


quaterhorselady
quaterhorselady

@JonLester @Bernie31 @td1234 @concernedoldtimer  The Federal money is ALREADY THERE and put aside for the ACA!  The FEDERAL MONEY is OUR taxes ALREADY paid, WHICH WILL go to the OTHER STATES accepting help to expand Medicaid!!  SO, Nathan "Bad" Deal is SPENDING YOUR money on New York, New Jersey, CAlifornia, Oregon, Massachusetts, Washington to named a few.  Let's see....Isn't NJ governor Chris Christie?  Last time I checked Christie was a Republican, but he has some sense (at least about Medicaid)!  So, the states in the Northeast and the West Coast ALL thank YOU for GIVING THEM your money!


Bernie31
Bernie31

@td1234 @Bernie31@concernedoldtimer- Very easily! You take the Medicaid Savings and RE-TOOL the State of Georgia's Department Medical Assistance Computer System. You make it a State of the art system to make it operate more efficiently for future Waste, Fraud and Abuse. This upgrade should include better foster care child tracking, Claims processing and Medicaid recipient enrollment and managed care assignment. The current computer system is inefficient,disjointed and woefully in a complete mess from top to bottom. Never will the Sate ever have this opportunity again to make such a move on the Federal Dime. Time to get smart people!