ATLANTA, GA, March 18 – by Stephanie Miller – Many Georgia Republicans were shocked yesterday when they learned House Bill 707, legislation designed to limit Obamacare, was tabled by the Senate Rules Committee. Representative Jason Spencer (R-Woodbine), is calling the move by his fellow Republicans an “eleventh hour betrayal.”
HB 707 passed the House by a vote of 115-59. Rep. Spencer expected the legislation to smoothly pass through the Senate committee on Monday and make it to the Senate floor for a full vote before the 2014 session ends this Thursday.
Instead, Republican Senator Cecil Staton made a motion to table the bill, it was seconded by Democrat Senator Steve Henson. State Senator, Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody), who represents a large portion of North Dekalb, also voted along with other Republicans in favor of tabling HB 707. The move effectively killed the bill since the Rules Committee will not meet again this session.
Outraged at the decision, Rep. Spencer posted the following comment on his Facebook page yesterday, “It appears that after HB 707 was picked to come to the senate floor a motion was made to table the bill. Republicans are blocking HB 707! Unbelievable! Republicans wanting Obamacare…this is why we are losing our country!!!”
According to Spencer, HB 707 prohibits the state of Georgia from running an insurance exchange; refuses federal grant money for the purpose of creating or running a state insurance exchange, and ends the University of Georgia Health Navigator Program. Lastly, HB 707 would prohibit the Commissioner of Insurance from investigating or enforcing any alleged violation of federal health insurance requirements mandated by Obamacare.
A press conference to discuss the status of HB 707 is scheduled for today, Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. in the Rotunda of the Georgia State Capitol. Groups like Georgian’s For Healthcare Freedom will be on hand to demand action by the Governor and Lieutenant Governor. The group promises to call out those who were part of what they call “a deliberate move flouting the will of the people apparently bowing to special interests. To read the group’s full response, click here.
Rep. Spencer promises to “identify the Republican Benedict Arnolds, the King George the Third and his myrmidons who ship wrecked my path breaking, patriotic bill (HB 707) to prevent the federal Leviathan from commandeering the machinery of state government or resources to enforce ill-conceived federal health insurance mandates.”
HB 707 isn’t the only bill targeting Obamcare. HB 1014 was filed this session to nullify, or legally void, Obamacare in Georgia. With the session ending this Thursday, time was running out, so the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Sam Moore (R-Cherokee) offered the language from HB 1014 as an amendment to a related bill, HB 990. The amendment failed 174-2. You can see the roll call vote here.
UPDATE: The 2:30 pm Press Conference has been canceled.
“The press conference that was scheduled for today to discuss the status of 707 has been canceled due to some dramatic progress that has been made to advance House Bill 707 for the people of Georgia,” said Rep. Spencer. “The people of Georgia should be commended for their political activism and their support of this legislation; your voice has been heard today. Please continue to stay tuned as my colleagues and I continue the political process through late Thursday evening and just know that progress has been made, and the people can claim victory today.”