Political Notes – Price introduces bill attempting to repeal Obamacare

A week after Republicans swept control of both houses of Congress, U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell) has introduced a bill that attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Price’s bill, which he calls the “Empowering Patients First Act,” would completely repeal Obamacare and replace it with a combination of refundable tax credits, high-risk insurance pools for persons with pre-existing conditions, and tort reform provisions.

Price had the Obamacare repeal measure drafted several months ago, but it never was moved to the floor for a vote by the House’s Republican leadership during the past congressional term.

“President Obama’s healthcare law violates every principle of health care that Americans hold dear: accessibility, affordability, choices, innovation, quality and responsiveness,” Price said in a prepared statement.

“The law threatens the doctor-patient relationship,” Price contended. “It empowers Washington bureaucrats at the expense of quality health care choices, and quite simply, the federal government should not be interfering with the most personal decisions in the lives of the American people.”

Price’s bill is expected to be the first of many legislative measures that will call for the repeal of Obamacare.

The U.S. House voted more than 50 times in 2013 and 2014 to pass bills that repealed various sections of the ACA, but they were never called up for a vote in the Senate by Majority Leader Harry Reid.

With a Republican majority set to take control of the Senate in January, Obamacare repeal measures that come over from the House are expected to pass the Senate as well. Obama has indicated he will veto any bills that would repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Land’s case

U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land of the Middle District of Georgia has been assigned to hear the appeal of the bribery and mail fraud convictions of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman, a case originally tried in federal court in Alabama.

Land is a former state senator from Columbus. After stepping down from the Legislature in 2000, he was appointed a federal judge by George W. Bush.

As reported by Chuck Williams of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer:

After all of the federal judges in the Middle District of Alabama recused themselves, Judge Clay Land of the Middle District of Georgia has been appointed to hear the appeal by former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.

Land, according to an order issued Monday, has set a Dec. 15 hearing for 10:30 a.m. in Columbus. The order says Siegelman will be present. Siegelman’s attorneys are asking the court that he be released on bond pending the appeal.

The case had been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller. All of Fuller’s cases have been reassigned by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals following his arrest this year on domestic battery charges in Atlanta.

Personnel notes

Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin has been elected chairman of the board for the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA), effective Jan. 1. He will succeed Dahlonega Mayor Gary McCullough on the board that disburses water and sewer system construction loans to local governments.

“The opportunity to work directly with projects that conserve and improve the state’s energy, land and water resources is very rewarding,” Austin said.

© 2014 by The Georgia Report

Tags: Boyd Austin , Clay Land , Don Siegelman , GEFA , Obamacare repeal , Tom Price