What's in the Healthcare Bill? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

What's in the Healthcare Bill?

Senator Johnny Isakson Senator Johnny Isakson

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  President Obama says it is time for the country to take action on his proposed health care overhaul because the problem's been talked to death.

But Georgia's Junior Senator says rushing the legislation through will be disastrous.

Senator Johnny Isakson calls the plan the most comprehensive, complex and expensive piece of legislation imaginable, and to rush to judgement would be a huge mistake.

Senator Isakson serves on the Health committee for the United States Senate, which last week, pushed through the Affordable Health Choices Act.

That's their proposed legislation for health care reform. The vote was 13 to 10 and one of the no votes came from Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson.

President Obama wants healthcare reform bills to find their way through the house and Senate before lawmakers go on recess in August. Senator Johnny Isakson says that would be a mistake.

"There are tremendous ramifications. They're moving way too fast, planning to spend way too much money and put way too much cost on the states," Isakson said by telephone.

Protests, like the one that happened in Albany last week, are taking place all over the country, speaking out against rushed reform. Isakson says he doesn't think that will happen, at least not right now.

"No ma'am. I don't think anything is going to pass before the August break and if it does it will be a disaster because it will be manhandled through the majority and that would be wrong."

Lawmakers have also been criticized for pushing through legislation without reading it. Senator Isakson said with the exception of a couple of paragraphs, he read the Health Choices Act and that's why he voted against it.

"I've read all of it, at least the version that came through the Senate. I have not read what came through the house, but I, in the end, voted against the bill coming out of the committee in the Senate because it was incomplete, very expensive and very problematic to state government.">

Isakson told me today he doesn't think any type of reform will pass before the August break and that once voters get an opportunity to digest what the Senate and House are considering, he doesn't believe it could pass under any circumstances when lawmakers return in September.

Senator Isakson is a co-sponsor of the Patients' Choice Act of 2009, which promotes choice and competition, rather than rationing and restrictions, to contain costs and ensure affordable health care.

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