Johnny Isakson’s Position Statement on Health Care

As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, and as a former small business owner, I recognize the frustrations many Americans have with the current cost and quality of health care. I agree we must look for solutions to find ways to provide access to affordable healthcare to individuals who lack access to health insurance through an employer. That solution is not increased premiums and lack of choice.

When it comes to real solutions, we can all agree on the need to stop the practice of rejecting insurance coverage to someone who has a pre-existing condition or cancelling coverage to someone who develops a condition. It is also vital that we enroll all of those already eligible for Medicare, Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in those programs.

Additionally, I support repealing the prohibition of insurance sales across state lines to increase portability and competition as well as allowing small businesses to pool together to form association health plans. These free-market principles will increase choice for families and businesses, and they are the keys to expanding access to health insurance.

Obamacare
In December 2009, I voted against President Obama’s health care proposal in the Senate, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” because I believed it was a terribly flawed, unconstitutional law that seeks to put the government in charge of Americans’ health care. 

Unfortunately, Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and it was signed into law in March 2010. Since President Obama’s terribly flawed health care law went into effect, I have repeatedly called for it to be repealed, and I have repeatedly cited the fact that the administration has already had to issue more than 1,000 waivers exempting more than 2.5 million individuals from the law’s insurance mandates. Many states – including Georgia – have sought waivers in advance of the higher premiums, fewer benefits and more regulations that are being imposed. My original concerns about the law have unfortunately been proven valid.

Votes to Oppose/Defund Obamacare

  • Since Obamacare was enacted in 2010, I have voted more than 60 times to kill, repeal, dismantle or defund the legislation. This includes my vote in favor of Sen. Ted Cruz’s amendment in March 2013, to defund Obamacare in the Continuing Resolution.

Additional Actions to Oppose Obamacare

  • I have co-sponsored the Obamacare Repeal Act for each Congress since the legislation was signed into law, including in February 2015 to fully repeal Obamacare. I voted again to repeal Obamacare in July 2015.
  • In December 2015, the Senate passed legislation to repeal Obamacare by a vote of 52-47. I voted for this bill, the Restoring Americans’ Health Care Freedom Reconciliation Act, noting that the American people continue to beg for relief from this disastrous health care law.
  • In December 2015, as a member of the Senate Committee on Finance, I supported the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 that suspends several of Obamacare’s most harmful taxes, representing the most substantial rollback of Obamacare in six years by suspending Obamacare’s harmful taxes on medical innovation and health insurance premiums.

In Georgia

  • In August 2016, Blue Cross Blue Shield announced that Obamacare premiums in Georgia would go up by an average of 21 percent in the next year, on top of double-digit increases in previous years. While Georgians were promised more choice and lower costs of healthcare as a result of Obamacare, the opposite has come true. Now, in six out of every 10 Georgia counties, the only option for health insurance coverage is Blue Cross Blue Shield.
    • In September 2016, I co-sponsored the Obamacare Tax Relief and Consumer Choice Act, where a person facing an increase of more than 10 percent from the previous year would still be able to buy insurance, but if they chose not to, they would not be subject to the penalties of the individual mandate.
    • I also co-sponsored the Protection from Obamacare Monopolies Act to allow residents to be exempted from the Obamacare mandate in counties where there is only one or no Affordable Care Act-compliant insurance issuer available, such as in the 96 counties in Georgia left with only one option for health care insurers in 2016.