NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


September 10, 2007

Some 1.7 million Georgians -- almost one-fifth of the state's population -- live without health insurance.  Who makes up that 1.7 million?  Seventy-one percent of Georgia's uninsured are either working adults or the dependents of working adults.  That's more than a million uninsured people in our state working hard every day to provide for themselves and their families, says Casey Cagle, lieutenant governor of Georgia.

There are a myriad of reasons why working Georgians lack insurance:

  • Most simply cannot afford the cost of insurance premiums, which are growing at an incredible pace.
  • Likewise, younger consumers don't often see the value to a traditional, comprehensive health insurance plan.
  • And individuals and small business owners may simply not have the time to wade through a complex maze of health insurance options.

The recently proposed Georgia Health Marketplace aims to create a market-based system that will lower the cost of insurance through direct competition.  It will be a clearinghouse, bringing together insurance providers and consumers in a streamlined, Web-based system.  For those hard-working Georgians for whom insurance is just too high, this plan will cut costs and create affordable health care options for individuals and small businesses.  With just a few clicks of a mouse, people will be able to check the availability and price of a variety of products.

  • The Health Marketplace will offer portable health insurance policies that can be carried from job to job.
  • And payments for insurance coverage provided can be made using payroll deductions.
  • This will allow employees of small businesses to receive the same major tax deduction that employees of large companies get.

The Health Marketplace will leverage the free market and individual choice instead of replacing them with government mandates and a one-size-fits-all system, says Cagle.

Source: Casey Cagle, "Health Marketplace is best option for Georgia," Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 10, 2007.


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