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Gov Seeks Ruling on Constitutionality
Wednesday, 23 December 2009

December 23-- Governor Sonny Perdue today requested Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker join colleagues from around the nation in reviewing the Constitutionality of the health care bill under consideration in Congress. At least seven Attorneys General have confirmed that they are looking at several special deals made by Senate leadership to buy the votes of wavering Senators.

“The leadership of Congress, particularly Senate leadership, understands the financial devastation that is looming for states, which is clearly evidenced by the special deals that have been cut for states that have Democratic Senators with wavering support of the reform,” Governor Perdue wrote to Attorney General Baker. “In order to calm the concerns, Senate leadership has granted special exemptions with additional federal dollars to cover the substantial increases in Medicaid costs for a few states while leaving the rest of us to foot the entire bill.”

The special treatment that Senators have won for their states will cost the country’s taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, in addition to the billions in state costs that will skyrocket under this bill.

The full text of Governor Perdue’s letter to Attorney General Baker is below:

The Honorable Thurbert Baker

Attorney General of Georgia

Dear Attorney General Baker:

 RE:  H.R. 3590 - “Health Care Reform”

The debate over healthcare policy in Washington, DC has reached a critical juncture now that 60 Senators have agreed to support the latest bill unveiled by Sen. Harry Reid over this past weekend. Under the House and Senate proposals, state spending on Medicaid will increase dramatically and Governors of both parties have repeatedly objected to the path we appear to be rushing toward. One of my Democratic Governor colleagues even called this bill “the mother of all unfunded mandates.”

The leadership of Congress, particularly Senate leadership, understands the financial devastation that is looming for states, which is clearly evidenced by the special deals that have been cut for states that have Democratic Senators with wavering support of the reform. In order to calm the concerns, Senate leadership has granted special exemptions with additional federal dollars to cover the substantial increases in Medicaid costs for a few states while leaving the rest of us to foot the entire bill. Senator Reid’s recent compromise to obtain the support of Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska is the most striking example where the federal government would cover one hundred percent of the cost of all newly eligible Medicaid enrollees in just the State of Nebraska. In addition, the health care legislation grants an additional $300 million in Medicaid aid to the State of Louisiana which secured Senator Mary Landrieu’s support – a deal many are calling the new “Louisiana Purchase.”

Yesterday, seven Attorneys General from across the country confirmed that they are looking at the constitutionality of these special deals. As I have considerable concerns over the constitutionality of these recent actions, I respectfully request that you join your colleagues from Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas and Washington state in investigating the constitutionality of these special exemptions in the health care legislation and explore the availability of any legal challenges that Georgia could pursue to oppose this unconscionable scenario.

Congress appears to be on the cusp of making a decision that will have ripple effects for decades to come. Now is the time to ensure that any decision that is made has been thoroughly vetted and deemed to meet the intent and spirit of our country’s Constitution.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

 Sincerely

 Governor Sonny Perdue

 
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