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Perdue backs health care legislation
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ATLANTA — Gov. Sonny Perdue is throwing his support behind health care legislation that would create incentives for health savings accounts and high-deductible health plans.

"Physicians have vigorously lobbied to make this a reality for our patients. The legislation would provide affordable market coverage to more than 500,000 currently uninsured Georgians," said Jack Chapman, a Gainesville ophthalmologist who is president of the Medical Association of Georgia. "In addition to the obvious health care benefits, the package provides an economic stimulus of nearly $2 billion to our state’s economy."

A high deductible health plan offers consumers lower premiums and higher deductibles than a traditional health plan. Health savings accounts allow consumers to set aside money for future medical expenses tax free, much like 401(k) plans do for retirement.

A vocal backer of such proposals is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. (Gingrich’s Center for Health Transformation predicts that the proposals could help insure about 500,000 Georgians.)

The legislation in Georgia is being sponsored by state Sen. Judson Hill, R-Marietta, and Rep. Mickey Channell, R-Greensboro.

Perdue announced his support for the legislation Wednesday.