Chambliss in Marietta: Republicans have to replace, not only repeal, Obamacare
by Jon Gillooly
jgillooly@mdjonline.com
April 12, 2012 12:00 AM | 3012 views | 26 26 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Moultrie), left, visits with Marietta residents Warren Gordon and Kathy Young before addressing the Rotary Club of Marietta on Wednesday.<br>Staff/Laura Moon
U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Moultrie), left, visits with Marietta residents Warren Gordon and Kathy Young before addressing the Rotary Club of Marietta on Wednesday.
Staff/Laura Moon
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MARIETTA — U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Moultrie) called on Republicans to have a plan in place to tackle the health care crisis in the event the Supreme Court strikes down the health care overhaul.

In speaking to the Marietta Rotary Club at the Hilton Marietta Conference Center on Wednesday, Chambliss pointed out that, yes, he opposed the health law and voted against it. But just because the Supreme Court may strike down the law doesn’t mean the country’s health care problems are over.

“For Republicans to go on the campaign trail and say, ‘By golly, we’ve got to repeal Obamacare and move on,’ it’s not right because we’ve got issues in our health care system in this country today,” Chambliss said. “It is in serious trouble. I don’t care whether you’re talking about Medicaid, Medicare or just our health care system in general.”

Chambliss said everyone in the room knew what health care premiums are doing every year to their businesses and to them personally.

“And we’ve got to figure out a way to get our arms around it, and Republicans have got to be responsible enough to say, ‘OK, we want to repeal Obamacare, but here’s the direction which we need to go,’” he said.

If the Supreme Court repeals the law, Republicans must be willing to reach out to the president on the topic, “because I don’t think he’s going to come to us in a campaign year, but we need to go to him and say, ‘Mr. President, let’s find that common ground, and let’s look at the things we do agree on,’” including covering pre-existing conditions and being able to purchase insurance policies across state lines, he said.

“Let’s lay out the things that we disagree on and see if we can’t figure out a way to find that common ground there, because if we don’t get our arms around this, then our health care system is ultimately going to bankrupt this country,” Chambliss said.

The fastest rising expense in the U.S. Department of Defense today is health care, and there is nothing out there to slow it down, he said.

“If we’re not careful, it’s going to consume our ability to buy weapons systems and to pay our men and women at the rate we need to pay them,” he said. “And that’s just one example. I could go to every segment of the private sector and say the same thing, so it’s important that we have an alternative.”

Never before has the Supreme Court had three days of argument over a case as it did in the Obamacare matter, he said.

You can’t tell how appellate court judges will rule based on the questions they ask, “but if you listened to the questions, you would think that they’d certainly throw out the individual mandate because it does violate the commerce clause of the Constitution,” he said.

“I think that is probably what they’re going to do, but Lord knows it’s going to be a 5-4 decision either way,” he said.

During the question and answer part of his talk, one Rotarian, identifying himself as a health insurance agent, asked Chambliss to expand on his comment about continuing to support the coverage of pre-existing conditions. Wouldn’t such a mandate raise rates, the questioner asked.

Chambliss said if pre-existing conditions aren’t covered, then that individual is going to become a ward of the state and the taxpayers are going to pay for the cost.

“If we take that individual and we allow them to become part of a group if they’re not employed … then you’re going to spread the cost of that pre-existing condition among a number of people rather than that individual family or that very small group policy that may be there,” he said.

Chambliss also raised the issue of allowing children to remain on their parents’ policy until age 26.

When he first heard about this he found it puzzling because he wanted his children to be independent by that age, he said.

“I didn’t want them to stay on my policy, but again as you know better than I do, it makes perfect sense because those individuals are healthy,” Chambliss said. “They’re not incurring major medical expenses, so they’re cheap, and if we can leave those people on the policy to age 26, then it will help the cost of it. So I think there are a number of things and I don’t have all the answers as to how you do it.”

To read more about other topics Chambliss touched on, from foreign affairs to his plan to seek re-election, see Friday’s MDJ.
Comments
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JA Bolton
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April 13, 2012
Let's see what Saxby Chambliss has done lately - voted AGAINST equal pay for women; voted AGAINST protecting women and children from family violence -two strikes in very recent history and the rest of his record isn't any better.I wonder what great idea he has for health care. After decades in DC you would think he had some plan. Georgia has been stuck with the same two senators and, in this area, the same congressmen for far too long. We need a change.

These men are part of the congress that brought us the Wall Street deregulation crisis. Time to clean them out.
J Balfour
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April 13, 2012
People with preexisting conditions will be left without care, some dropped in the middle of treatment, but I guess that's just too bad as long as the right wing nut cases can win one. Repubs are the most self centered selfish people I have ever run across.
Maatf
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April 13, 2012
Good for Chambliss. According to the New England Journal of Medicine article 1/14/10, the U.S. ranked 37th in the world in ensuring the health of their population. Further: " It is hard to ignore that in 2006, the United States was number 1 in terms of health care spending per capita but ranked 39th for infant mortality, 43rd for adult female mortality, 42nd for adult male mortality, and 36th for life expectancy."

A word of caution, however, about "being able to purchase insurance policies across state lines." States regulate insurance under the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act that specifically delegated to the states the regulatory authority over insurers. Primarily, states assure the solvency of insurers who sell insurance in their states and regulate the activities of agents to assure consumer protection.

To say "let insurance be sold across state lines" is to allow the state with the least and poorest efforts in meeting its regulatory responsibilities to dominate the national health insurance market. As bad as regulation can be, it is also necessary. If we look at allowing insurers to sell across state lines, we need to look at a different way to regulate it.

truth hurts
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April 12, 2012
Why is there a crisis? Too many deadbeats living off the government!
anonymous
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April 12, 2012
Absolutely right truth hurts. The TEA party has the solution, let them die. Like those deadbeats that got laid off from their jobs. Or those deadbeats that don't have insurance due to preexisting conditions and especially those deadbeats who after working only forty odd years have the audacity to retire and live off the rest of us via social security and medicare. we should put them on an ice floe and set them adrift at sea.
Hanibal
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April 12, 2012
Mr. Shamebliss, what do think good old HERMAN TALMADGE would do?

Mr. Shamebliss, you have the best HEALTH COVERAGE.
The Observer
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April 12, 2012
And if you don't vote for Saxby, who will you vote for? Another member of Obama's Communist party supporting his goal to turn America into Greece?
J Balfour
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April 13, 2012
Any communist would be a chance for the better.Sax has made his millions probably benefited from the insider trading Congress granted itself, now he needs to get out of DC
Too funny
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April 12, 2012
Remember folks, RINO means Republican Is Not Obtuse - we have to recapture the party from the nutjobs.
Just Wait
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April 12, 2012
While we're in the replacing mode, let's add Saxby to the list.
Kennesaw Resident
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April 12, 2012
Here, here! He is just another RINO!
Timus
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April 12, 2012
I like the senator's answers. It gives me hope that there we can find some middle ground and actually accomplish something rather than stalling one way or the other.
what the
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April 12, 2012
"Mr President, let's find common ground, and let's look at things we do agree on". WOW, after three and a half years of block, obstruct and filibuster everything the president proposes, "can't we just get along". So what do you suggest after health care repeal, another partisan food fight designed to line the pockets of special interests?
Piney Woods Pete II
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April 12, 2012
If you put a gun to my head and said vote for Chambliss, I'd say pull the trigger.
anonymous
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April 12, 2012
I am feel the same. Not again. Not holding my nose again. Am sweeping the stink of the republicans out...chambliss is on the list.
Jeff A. Taylor
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April 12, 2012
Chambliss opens his mouth and embarrasses himself. Again.

This is why Obama will be reelected. The GOP really does not believe in free markets, just welfare for "their" voters.
anonymous
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April 12, 2012
You are right, Jeff A. Taylor.

We can thank the GW Bush do nothing republicans for our Dear Leader being in the white house today.

Chambliss is the poster boy for everything that is wrong with the republican party.
DISGUSTED W/GOVT.
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April 12, 2012
All politicians, including Saxby, thrive on, and continuously promote "crisis"

The only route to 'quality in & quantity of' good healthcare is for the government to--------

GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY!
Kennesaw Resident
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April 12, 2012
Government created the healthcare problem in 1965 and worsened it again in 1983. You are right DISGUSTED W/GOVT., they need to get out of the way and let markets do the work! Medicare created this healthcare inflation issue and the government's answer is more government, not less.

WE WANT LESS GOVERNMENT INTRUSION IN OUR LIVES!!
anonymous
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April 12, 2012
Unfortunately, the market place just doesn't work when it comes to health care. Most people's only access to medical care is through insurance. Insurance companies do not exist to deliver health care. They exist to deliver profits. You need a new car, dealers all over town will clamor for your business, need medical care, and I mean really need and insurance companies will slam the door in your face because you won't fit their profit model.
KSUsed
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April 12, 2012
...and we will need to replace Saxby also.....
donaldjohnsone
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April 12, 2012
But for many hardworking families, affordable insurance can be hard to find. The new "Penny Health" is giving you more control over your family’s health care by expanding your options for health insurance and making them more affordable.

anonymous
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April 12, 2012
--re: U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Moultrie) called on Republicans to have a plan in place to tackle the health care crisis...".

Just what health care crisis is Chambliss talking about? The one where no one ever actually gets turned away from the emergency room even though the democrats tell us otherwise?

All Chambliss needs to do is ask "What would Herman (Cain) do?" (Sadly, Chambliss isn't smart enough to figure out what Herman would do.)

Chambliss won't get my vote again.

Heaventree
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April 12, 2012
That's right! If your 6-year-old needs chemotherapy for his leukemia and you don't have insurance, all you have to do is go to the emergency room for the chemo. Only you have to go to the emergency room in Fantasyland.
anonymous
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April 12, 2012
Heaven tree, that is sure no health care crisis. And for what it is worth, there are a heck of a lot of charities and charitable parties who make sure people in need are cared for by the best in the medical field. Your example has no teeth, dear.

Repeat the the basis lines you have been fed if you want, but don;t think you are talking reality.
itstime
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April 12, 2012
The RINO speaks. I am sure that Chambliss would rather vote for Obamacare but he has to keep up his conservative front. His record speaks for itself.
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