Political Notes – Loudermilk wants to eliminate Medicaid

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In the legislative debate over how to handle a shortfall of money for Georgia’s Medicaid program, Sen. Barry Loudermilk (R-Cassville) has come up with the most radical solution of all: get rid of Medicaid entirely.

During a meeting of Cobb County’s legislative delegation over the weekend, Loudermilk opined that “we need to start in the direction to where we don’t have a Medicaid system.” He would replace Medicaid with a system of non-profit hospitals operated by religious groups that would take care of indigent patients.

As reported by Geoff Folsom in the Marietta Daily Journal:

“There are no federal taxes that go for it, that’s what we need to be looking at,” Loudermilk said to applause, while dropping in quotes from Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.

“I’ll take it a step further: we need to start in the direction to where we don’t have a Medicaid system, but we turn it back to the way it was before Medicaid, where there were nonprofit hospitals that provided indigent care to the people, that were run by churches and religious organizations. As soon as Medicaid came into being, they went away. They saw a way of becoming a profitable institution by government funding.”

Loudermilk is one of the most conservative Republicans serving in the General Assembly, but his viewpoint is right in line with other members of the Cobb delegation.

Sen. Judson Hill (R-Marietta), who opposes a proposal to extend a hospital provider fee that generates $400 million a year in revenues for Medicaid, refers to the federal funds that flow into the program as “federal crack dollars.”

Folsom’s account in the Marietta Daily Journal also shows that there is a more-than-adequate replacement in the Cobb delegation for the late Bobby Franklin, who died unexpectedly of heart failure in 2011 after a long career of introducing ultra-conservative bills in the state House.

Reported Folsom: “Loudermilk’s comments came at the same meeting where state Rep.-elect Charles Gregory of Kennesaw said Georgia should look at making its own currency in future years, which could allow the state to get away from a reliance on federal grants.”

Lest we forget, one of the last bills introduced by Franklin would have required the state to start paying its bills with gold, rather than the currency now issued by the U.S. Mint.

Gregory, who has not yet been sworn into office, has already gained media attention for pre-filing bills that would eliminate the state requirement for concealed firearms permits and would legalize the carrying of weapons in virtually every public location. He introduced these bills less than a week after 20 young school children were shot and killed in a Connecticut elementary school.

Rep. Judy Manning (R-Marietta), who was defeated by Gregory in last summer’s Republican primary and will soon be leaving office, attended the weekend meeting of the Cobb legislative delegation.

“It’s been my pleasure to serve you, and I’ve really, really enjoyed the ride,” Manning was quoted by the MDJ. “I don’t know where it’s going from here, but it’s going somewhere.”

Welcome back

When the General Assembly convenes next Monday for its 2013 session, several former legislators will be making their return to office under the Gold Dome.

These former and once-again-current legislators include Lee Hawkins, a House member from Gainesville who served nearly two terms in the state Senate; former state senator Jeff Chapman, who will represent Brunswick in the House; Able Mable Thomas, once again representing an intown Atlanta House district; David Lucas, a new state senator who represented Bibb County in the House for 37 years; and Barry Fleming, who is back in the Columbia County House district he once represented.

Gun law changes? Not likely

Gun owners who are worried that Congress will impose tighter restrictions on the sale and ownership of firearms probably don’t have much to be concerned about – at least according to one leading indicator.

MapLight, a research organization that tracks political contributions to members of Congress, released some interesting figures Monday on the money contributed to congressional candidates by the National Rifle Association as compared to the amount contributed by The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

The NRA contributed a total of $1,012,687 during the 2012 election cycle, with 87 percent of that total going to Republican candidates, MapLight reported. The Brady Campaign contributed a total of $4,518 to congressional candidates, all of whom were Democrats.

That’s an advantage of roughly 222-1 for the NRA.

© 2013 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Barry Loudermilk , Charles Gregory , former legislators , gun carry laws , Judson Hill , Medicaid , NRA