Senate health care chaos creates anxiety in Georgia

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Dr. Jeff Reinhardt examines his patient Carolyn Hollis at The Longstreet Clinic in Gainesville in 2015. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

WASHINGTON — Capitol Hill’s health care heartburn has made its way to Georgia, where local stakeholders have been left anxious, confused and evaluating their own next steps after the Senate GOP’s effort to repeal and replace Obamacare came to a screeching halt.

Local insurance companies urged Congress for action and certainty — and to do it quickly. If there isn’t clarity from Washington, said Graham Thompson, a lobbyist for Georgia insurers, consumers will pay a real price.

“While people see those potential increases and say, ‘Wow, how could this happen?’ ” Thompson said, “well, we just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

More: Georgia stakeholders anxious and confused over health care fight

Local opponents of the legislation said they planned to step up their lobbying, even though the current Senate bill appeared to be dead.

Dawn Johnson, the director of adult programs at the Frazer Center, said she and other representatives from Georgia Medicaid advocacy groups planned to visit Capitol Hill on Wednesday to urge Georgia Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue and Isakson not to alter the entitlement program or its services to the poor and disabled.

“These are vital services that people need,” Johnson said. “There are no viable alternatives to them.”

More on the local reaction to the Senate health care bill available on myAJC

Other recent health care coverage: 

Tom Price holds the keys to Obamacare after Senate bill collapse

Isakson weighs options as Obamacare replacement effort collapses

Senate health care rewrite in Washington doesn’t change Georgia minds

Citing uncertainty, Blue Cross seeks big rate increases in Georgia

Proposed Medicaid cuts in Senate healthcare plan spark fear


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