by Stephen C. Webster
Georgia State Senator Judson Hill and his fellow Republicans are so determined to fight health insurance reform that they are promoting a bill in the state's legislature which would prohibit the federal government from enforcing pending reforms on insurers in the state.
Hill is doing this, he told Fox News on Sunday, to "protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Georgians to be able to choose a health care provider, if they want, or choose their own health insurance plan."
He added: "We don't want a one-size-fits-all government plan thrust down our throat and to be penalized or forced or to have it forced upon us."
While that may indeed be the target of the Georgia legislation, it is deceptive on its face. Nothing of the sort has been proposed by the Obama administration or congressional Democrats.
A public insurance option is just that: an option, intended to be used by those who have none. Other reforms proposed would limit an insurer's ability to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, along with requirements for continued coverage if an insured person becomes ill.
Hill's argument is like insisting upon changing a state's laws to prohibit funding for public transportation -- such as light rail or buses -- because of a far-flung fear that one day it could mean everyone will be forced to give up their cars.