April 18, 2014 Radio Commentary

SNAP Testing

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, April 18, 2014 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Good morning, Jim. A week into the session Representative Greg Morris introduced H.B. 772 to tighten up requirements for receiving food stamps. It went through 14 stages of the legislative system and was voted on eight times before it finally passed. In his press release Representative Morris called his bill “common sense legislation,” and said, “Hard working Georgians expect their tax dollars to be used responsibly and efficiently, and under no circumstance should the government fund someone’s drug habit.”

That was January 22nd, when the bill began its convoluted trip through committee substitutes written in both House and Senate and further amendments in the floor debate. The Senate tabled it for two days then, took it off the table to pass the last day of the session.

So, effective January 1, 2016 food stamp cards will include a picture of at least one household member authorized to receive food stamps, and adult applicants must pass a drug test administered by the Georgia Department of Human Services. Applicants on Medicaid will pay only $17 for the test, but food stamp recipients that do not qualify for Medicaid will be charged the full cost of their test. Suspicion of drug use will be sufficient to prompt a drug test, and applicants that pass the test will be reimbursed with food stamps that were withheld during the testing process. Continue reading

April 11, 2014 Radio Commentary

April 11th, Day of Silence

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, April 11, 2014 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Good morning, Jim. The day of silence started in 1996 when a few University of Virginia College students refused to speak as a “coming out” promotion of homosexuality. It went nationwide in 1997 and soon moved into grade school. Since then, a homosexual legal firm has informed students that they may wear pro homosexual buttons or T-shirts in school, they may post pro homosexual signs and exhibits in school and they may refuse to speak in school.

This year’s day of silence is today, April 11th. But it’s not new to Georgia. In 2001 The Sticks and Stones Project became a gag order in schools to stop negative comments about homosexuality. In Georgia by 2002, 15 high schools and 5 colleges participated in the day of silence. By 2007, 37 high schools had gay-straight alliance clubs main-streaming homosexuality and the legislature refused to pass bills requiring parental permission for students to join any school club or extracurricular activity.

GLSEN and LGBT activists use anti-bullying policies to promote their agenda and implement courses, such as “No Name-Calling Week,” in elementary schools K – 12. On National Coming-Out Day in October 2012 teachers were asked to sign a SAFE pledge to validate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) lifestyles. Continue reading

April 4, 2014 Radio Commentary

Two Slam-Dunks in One Bill

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, April 4, 2014 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Good morning, Jim. The 39th and 40th days are the most dangerous times of the legislative session. That’s when legislators scramble to pass bills that are poised to pass, but will die unless they get a second chance. A second chance could mean attaching it to another bill, but that’s a little tricky, too, since a last-minute amendment might get both bills killed. But, thankfully, Representative Jason Spencer allowed H.B. 707 to be attached to H.B. 943, and it worked. So, here’s what we can expect.

When H.B. 943 becomes law, cancer treatment for oral chemotherapy will have the same insurance coverage as intravenous (IV) chemotherapy, and the coverage in effect December 30th cannot be changed to avoid it. Insurers may not offer incentives or limit treatment to encourage patients to accept inferior coverage, and healthcare policies cannot limit payment to doctors who recommend patients for other services or provide additional services, themselves. Intravenous chemo and injected chemo co-pay cannot be increased and $200 is the MOST cost-share patients can be charged for a filled prescription. Those provisions become law no later than July 1st or sooner if the governor signs H.B. 943 before then, and that part of H.B. 943 takes effect January 1, 2015. Continue reading

April 2014 Newsletter

Passed: Cancer Coverage Equity; Obamacare
Navigator Program to Cease!

 When H.B. 943 becomes law, cancer coverage will be enhanced, Georgia will not implement or operate a health exchange, and navigator programs will end when the navigator grant money is spent.

Conjoined: The Tale of Two Bills

[For 40 days after the session, the governor may veto, sign or allow bills to become law without his signature.]
When District 27’s Representative Lee Hawkins of Gainesville introduced H.B. 943 February 6th, he had no idea how important it would be. From its introduction by Representative Jason Spencer of District 180, H.B. 707 was in trouble. But, thankfully, Representative Hawkins, put his own H.B. 943 at risk to allow Representative Spencer to amend it with critical parts of H.B. 707, and it paid off. On March 18th, the amended bill passed, doubly benefiting Georgians.

Passed within H.B. 943 were parts of H.B. 707, the “Georgia Health Care Freedom Act.” So, when the governor signs it or by July 1st, a new law in Georgia will include this paragraph: “31-1-40. Neither the state nor any department, agency, bureau, authority, office, or other unit of the state nor any political subdivision of the state shall expend or use moneys, human resources, or assets to advocate or intended to influence the citizens of this state in support of the voluntary expansion by the State of Georgia of eligibility for medical assistance in furtherance of the federal ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,’ beyond the eligibility criteria in effect on the effective date of this Code section under the provisions of … the federal Social Security Act as amended.”

Additional Requirements of H.B. 707, as Passed in H.B 943

  • The attorney general will enforce provisions of the Georgia Health Care Freedom Act.
  • Bona fide educational instruction about Obamacare is not prohibited.
  • MEDICAID programs will not be affected.
  • Establishment or operation of a state exchange for Obamacare is prohibited.
  • Conversion of an existing program into a state exchange is prohibited.
  • Navigator programs will be terminated and not renewed when navigator grants expire.
  • To read the rest of this newsletter in PDF format, please click here.