Georgia Senators Likely To Support Senate Health Care Bill

Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., speaks during the Road to Majority 2015 convention in Washington, Friday, June 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Both of Georgia’s senators are expected to vote in favor of the latest version of the Senate health care plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which was released Thursday.

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Speaking to Bloomberg News on Thursday, Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., said he likes the newest version.

“This thing continues to evolve, but I think we’re getting to a point now where we’re very, very close,” Perdue said. “I remain hopeful and I think we got something now that we can work with.”

Perdue said he wants to make sure affordable plans are available for people with pre-existing conditions and that Medicaid funding is sustainable.

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said he’s still reviewing the latest draft of the bill.

In a statement, Isakson said the new version has more funding for Georgia hospitals starting in 2020.

Perdue and Isakson are considered to be safe “yes” votes for the GOP.

Premium Increases

Perdue said he’s concerned about affordability. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, the sole insurer in 96 of 159 counties in Georgia, is proposing an average increase of 40 percent to insurance premiums on the individual marketplace next year through the Affordable Care Act.

“Obamacare is collapsing after six or seven years,” Perdue said. “We want to repeal as much as we can repeal. We got to make sure people continue to get access or will get access.”

Perdue pointed to a new federal report that found the “average exchange premiums were 105 percent higher in the 39 states using in 2017 than average individual market premiums in 2013.”

Perdue disagrees with the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the bill’s impact, which says about 400,000 Georgians could lose Medicaid coverage over the next 10 years.

A budget office analysis of the latest version of the health care plan is expected next week.