Three congressional Republicans representing Northeast Georgia may have agreed with some of the points raised by President Barack Obama in Wednesday night’s speech, but they countered that their constituents have a different idea of health care reform.
Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Gainesville, charged that Obama is ignoring the will of the American public by pushing the public option.
"It is disappointing that very few ideas or reforms were advanced by the president. Instead, it was an effort to put some shine on a plan that many Americans have already rejected," Deal said. "The American people have opened their eyes to this administration’s attempt to lead our nation down the dangerous path of socialism, and no speech, no matter how clever or well-delivered, will close their eyes again."
Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson said Georgians don’t want the public option pushed in Obama’s plan.
"He is insisting on a government option, but the thousands of Georgians I heard from back home during the month of August are very leery of being pushed into a government-run system that will have to be paid for with higher taxes. I am not going to be a part of mortgaging my kids’ futures by driving Americans to a government-run health care system we can’t afford," Isakson said in a statement.
Republican Paul Broun, who represents the 10th Congressional District that includes Jackson, Habersham and Banks counties, said his constituents want lower health care costs.
"They want access to more doctors and treatments and less interference from insurance companies, special interests and of course Washington politicians. They want the doctor-patient relationship protected. And for those uninsured, I heard compassionate calls for an affordable approach to help those who truly need it," Broun said in a statement.
All three Republicans conceded that there may be room to work with the president on reform, but only up to a point. And that point doesn’t include the public option, which Deal said would destroy the insurance industry.
"While there are many areas of bipartisan agreement relating to insurance reform, these areas are used to camouflage the underlying purpose of the president’s plan — the dramatic and rapid movement of millions of Americans into a government-run health care system, known as the public option," Deal said in a statement.
Isakson also said that he won’t consider a public option.
"There is some common ground in terms of portability and not being rejected for pre-existing conditions and not being canceled if you have a disease," Isakson said. "There are ways to reach these goals through the private sector, but the president is insisting on doing it through a government plan and that is a non-starter."
Broun called upon Obama to listen to other ideas, including his own proposal, which he took with him Wednesday night to the floor of the House.
"I hope that the president opens his door to our ideas and opens his ears to the calls from Americans for reform without a $2 trillion government experiment," Broun said.