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Senators Urge Georgia Suit
Wednesday, 24 March 2010

March 24--  Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and the Republican members of the State Senate today issued a joint statement urging Governor Sonny Perdue to move forward and join the lawsuit filed by over a dozen bipartisan attorneys general challenging the constitutionality of the federal healthcare reform legislation, regardless of Attorney General Thurbert Baker’s refusal to act.

The lawsuit filed yesterday in Pensacola, Florida, challenges Congressional authority under the U.S. Constitution to enact an individual mandate compelling citizens to purchase health insurance or face large fines.  The lawsuit also charges the healthcare overhaul infringes on the sovereignty of states and will cripple state budgets.

 “The healthcare legislation passed Sunday and signed into law represents an unprecedented expansion of the federal government’s authority. This bill will devastate our nation’s economy by creating $50 billion in tax increases, cutting benefits to senior citizens and violating individual citizens' right to choose their own healthcare. Today, we stand in strong support of Governor Sonny Perdue and his ability to move forward with protecting Georgia’s citizens from this overreaching and financially disastrous legislation.”

 “In addition to the questionable constitutionality of the bill, the unfunded mandates in the healthcare reform will cripple Georgia’s economic recovery. We have already witnessed a massive state budget shortfall caused by deteriorating economic conditions and dramatically lower tax revenue, and face difficult choices this legislative session. Unlike Washington, our state constitution requires us to balance the budget each year. Under the healthcare reform legislation, Georgia will face billions of dollars in additional Medicaid costs, potentially forcing draconian cuts to critical programs like education and public safety.

 “The unfortunate reality is that under the new federally mandated healthcare policy, no amount of cutting will bring our state budget into balance. Therefore the only alternative would be to force massive tax increases on Georgians who will have to shoulder this federal program's financial burden. That is an alternative our state cannot afford and that our Caucus will not accept.

 Ignoring this new law will not make its substantial consequences go away.  We strongly support Governor Perdue’s direction to Attorney General Thurbert Baker, and in light of Baker’s refusal to act, urge Governor Perdue to move forward and stand up against this unprecedented attack on our citizens’ liberty and our state’s sovereignty.”

The Senate Republican Caucus is comprised of Senators Don Balfour, John Bulloch, Jim Butterworth, Buddy Carter, Ronnie Chance, Jeff Chapman, Bill Cowsert, John Crosby, John Douglas, Greg Goggans, Johnny Grant, Bill Hamrick, Seth Harp, Bill Heath, Jack Hill, Judson Hill, Ralph Hudgens, Bill Jackson, Dan Moody, Jeff Mullis, Jack Murphy, Chip Pearson, Chip Rogers, Mitch Seabaugh, David Shafer, Preston Smith, Cecil Staton, Don Thomas, Ross Tolleson, Renee Unterman, Dan Weber, John Wiles and Tommie Williams.

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