House passes health care bill, Georgia among states opposing mandate

The U.S. House last night passed a controversial health care bill by a vote of 219-212, and the measure now goes to President Obama for his signature. The president is expected to sign the bill on Tuesday at the earliest.

“This bill not only doesn’t help, but in fact makes matters worse,” Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., said in a statement. “Furthermore, we don’t even know every evil that is contained in the bill that passed the House (last night) – but I can assure you that we will continue to discover them if this bill is signed into law.”

Prior to the vote, Obama said he would issue an executive order after the House voted on the health care reform bill that “will reaffirm its consistency with longstanding restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion,” the White House said in a statement. While that helped sway Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., and other pro-life Democrats to vote in favor of the bill, some questioned whether Obama’s Executive Order would in fact restrict federally-allocated taxpayer’s money’s use for abortions.

Meanwhile, Georgia is among more than three dozen states working on a measure opposing the soon-to-be federal law, and some states – including Florida and South Carolina – might sue to stop the measure. Last week, the state Senate passed SB 317, which declares that no law can force a Georgia resident to buy health insurance; the state measure is now in the hands of the state House.

“(These) actions don’t solve any of the problems they promised to fix and it won’t improve health care,” state Sen. Judson Hill, R-Marietta, said in a news release. “The Democrat’s plan is estimated to cost Georgia taxpayers almost $500 million per year.

“We know that the right to make your own health care choices is important to Georgians,” Hill added. “These basic freedoms have always been worth protecting, but especially now in light of Congress’ vote to take away these rights.”

In addition to all 178 Republicans, 34 Democrats – including Georgia’s John Barrow and Jim Marshall – voted against the bill.

“Our founding fathers also could not have imagined a country where Americans are forced to buy government-approved health insurance under penalty of law, and House and Senate leaders subvert the rules process to pass legislation that is against the will of the majority,” Gingrey added.

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