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Georgia opts out of first step in healthcare law

Posted On Wed, April 14, 2010

On Monday, Georgia's insurance commissioner John Oxendine announced the state will not participate in the first part of the new healthcare law that would offer financial help to those with high-risk health problems.

The healthcare law would give $5 billion in aid nationally to help high-risk people that are unable to afford insurance plans. Oxendine said in a letter to the Associated Press that Georgia would not be participating because he believes it will be a burden on the state's taxpayers. Even though the program is backed by federal money, the insurance commissioner believes the program is underfunded.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that in a letter Oxedine sent on Monday to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius he said that "unfortunately, I have no confidence in any federal assertion that this so-called temporary program will not burden the taxpayers of Georgia."

The state's participation isn't needed for this program to operate in Georgia and if the federal government chooses, it could attempt to override Oxendine's decision. Georgia has until April 30 to decide.
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