Kemp promises affordable health care

Kemp promises affordable health care

ADEL — Brian Kemp, Republican gubernatorial candidate, unveiled his health-care plan Wednesday, promising affordable health care for Georgians without the need for Medicaid expansion.

Outside of the Cook Medical Center, Kemp introduced his plans to help rural Georgians handle “skyrocketing premiums” and “surprise medical bills.” 

Standing before a crowd of about 100 people, he said his solution did not involve pouring more tax dollars into government programs. He said as governor he would lower insurance costs, cover people with pre-existing conditions and insure access to quality care. 

“I have a better plan, a patient-centered system that’s right for Georgia — not California,” Kemp said. “Above all, I will put patients first.”

Kemp said nine counties in Georgia lack a primary-care physician, 67 counties don’t have an OB/GYN and 70 counties don’t have a local pediatrician.

“This is 2018, folks,” he said. “This is Georgia, and this is unacceptable.”

As governor, he said he would fund more residency positions in family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology.

He also said he would grow the Rural Hospital Tax Credit Program, increasing the cap from $60 million to $100 million that rural hospitals could earn from individual or corporate tax credits.

Kemp criticized his opponent, Democrat Stacey Abrams, for her support of expanding the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Georgia is one of 14 states that has not expanded Medicaid via former President Barack Obama’s health-care law or pursued an expansion waiver. Outgoing Republican Gov. Nathan Deal has long opposed the move, citing the cost to the state.

Abrams argues expansion would address the root of rural Georgia’s most nagging problems — the stagnant or dying economies, the shortage of health-care providers and the cash-strapped hospitals on the brink of closure. 

A half-dozen rural hospitals have closed in eight years.

Kemp said these types of governmental programs cost too much and fail to deliver.

“There is a clear contrast in this race, especially when it comes to health care,” Kemp said. “If you like high-sky insurance premiums, if you enjoy driving or waiting for hours to see a doctor, if you want to pay more but get less, then you should vote for my opponent.

“If you want innovation and market-based solutions, if you want lower costs and better coverage, if you want folks with pre-existing conditions to have access to affordable, quality care, then I humbly ask for your vote.”

You can read the story where originally published here