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Ralston shows concern over health care, urges Congress to ‘get it right’


House Speaker David Ralston on Wednesday did not endorse or criticize congressional Republicans’ first public draft of changes to federal health care policy, but he did offer one piece of advice.

“I hope they take the time to get it right,” Ralston, a Blue Ridge Republican, said. “I hope they process it and give it time to get it right.”

Republican leaders in the U.S. House this week rolled out a plan to revise the Affordable Care Act. Called the “American Health Care Act,” the bill would keep Obamacare’s guarantee of coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and would allow parents to continue to keep children under 26 on their coverage.

But it scraps the individual mandate and makes major changes to the tax credit system now available for insurance coverage.

Ralston said he has not studied the proposal in-depth, but does see one area that worries him.

“I am concerned that there is the potential in the proposal to hurt those states that chose to exercise what I think is the prudent route of not expanding Medicaid,” Ralston told the Atlanta Press Club. “I’m a little concerned by that but I don’t have enough details yet to address that specific question.”

Changes to federal health care policy could have major implications for Georgia.

“From a budget standpoint, we’ll be keeping a very close eye” on Congress, Ralston said.

But the speaker urged lawmakers in Washington not to rush the issue.

“I hope they take the time to get it right,” he said. “I hope they process it and give it time to get it right.”


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