Georgia Opts Out of Temporary Health Insurance High Risk Pool

April 13, 2010

Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine said that he will not participate in the first phase of recently enacted federal health care legislation that calls for the implementation of a temporary high risk insurance pool in Georgia. Oxendine said that the program could potentially burden taxpayers.

“I have no confidence in any federal assertion that this so-called temporary program will not burden the taxpayers of Georgia,” Oxendine said. “I am concerned that the high risk insurance program will ultimately become the financial responsibility of Georgians at a time when our state is furloughing teachers, laying off employees, and cutting public safety and education funding.”

On April 2, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a letter to Oxendine asking him to express his interest in participating in the temporary high risk insurance program established by the new health insurance reform law.

Oxendine, who is running for the Republican nomination for governor, told Sebelius that he would not commit the state to implement this program, which is part of a bill he believes the Supreme Court will hold to be unconstitutional.

Sebelius gave Oxendine an April 30 deadline to indicate his intent to participate.

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