GA insurance chief nixes health care plan

Atlanta – Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine announced today that he will not participate in the first phase of recently enacted federal health care legislation which calls for the implementation of a temporary high risk insurance pool in Georgia. In doing so, Oxendine cited that the program could potentially cause taxpayers severe financial hardship.

"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 responded that he cannot commit the state to implement this program which is part of a bill he believes the Supreme Court will hold to be unconstitutional, lead to the further expansion of the federal government, and undermine the financial security of our nation.

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

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