Conservative state lawmakers recognize that viable alternatives to the Affordable Care Act, like Congressman Tom Price’s excellent market-based proposal, must come from Congress. But that does not mean that they’re necessarily sidelined in this all-important fight. In fact, just the opposite is true.
As Americans cope with the rising premiums and dipping quality of care from the Affordable Care Act, it’s vital that conservative state lawmakers realize that we can fight the law ourselves even if Congress refuses.
In Georgia, we’ve provided a roadmap for stopping the Obamacare train wreck without requiring a seal of approval from Obama and his liberal allies.
In the Georgia General Assembly, I led the fight against lowering the quality of our healthcare and misusing our dollars in this year’s legislative session.
An initial bill I co-sponsored, HB 707, would have prohibited state and local government dollars from ever going towards promoting Obamacare exchanges. Promoting, in this instance, could mean something as innocuous as setting up forms to sign up people for the law or spending money on advertising. It also said taxpayer funds could not be used for the University of Georgia to set up a Navigator program, which is riddled with flaws.
Washington has repeatedly abused taxpayer dollars for the sake of promoting their takeover, which is hardly good policy or conservative — we won’t be a party to that in Georgia.
The bill stalled in the state Senate. But we didn’t relent. After going back to square one, I was proud offer up the aptly-named “Lindsey Amendment” to House Bill 943, which fulfilled the initial promise of HB 707.
Working together with like-minded conservatives, I pushed the bill through the General Assembly and to the governor’s desk. But we didn’t stop there.
Another bill, HB 990, requires legislative approval for any future expansion of our Medicaid rolls. Expanding those rolls and complying with Obamacare equates to profoundly bad policy that only hastens the demise of our healthcare system.
“Because of his efforts, we have blocked efforts to use Georgians’ tax dollars to advance Obamacare,” state House Speaker David Ralston said of the push I made.
“Without Ed Lindsey,” House Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones said. “We would not have passed the Lindsey Amendment to block Obamacare’s use of Georgia tax dollars to promote this disastrous federal policy. Period.”
Isn’t this the kind of can-do conservatism sorely lacking in Washington today?
I’m running for Congress now in Georgia’s eleventh district because it’s time to take the next step in the frontline struggle against Obamacare.
As a state legislator, I turned words into deeds, offering up a roadmap for states unwilling to be saddled with the costs its failure. In Congress, I’ll be ready to roll up the sleeves and produce the same results.
Ed Lindsey, a Georgia state representative and former majority whip, is running for Congress in Georgia’s 11th district.