Local
3:11 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Ga. Attorney General Says Obamacare Critics Should Stop “Pouting and Whining”

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens (center) in 2011 during the fight against the president's health reform law.
Credit Office of the Attorney General

Echoing recent comments of Georgia U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson and Georgia Chamber of Commerce CEO Chris Clark, state Attorney General Sam Olens criticized opponents of the president’s health reform law for continuing their all-or-nothing approach.

“Whether you like it or dislike it, it’s the law and I think way too many folks are still pouting and whining instead of dealing with the reality,” said Olens, speaking Monday at a forum hosted by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.

In 2010, with Olens leading the charge, Georgia joined 27 other states in a legal challenge against the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare. Two years later, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld most of the law.

“I don’t sit in my office every day figuring out what’s my next lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act. I gave it the best shot I had,” said Olens.

He urged political leaders, many of whom are still advocating for full repeal, to focus on revising individual elements of the law.

“The number of businesses that are seeking to hire folks at 29 hours a week will kill our economy, which is the hours upon which you don’t have to do the Affordable Care Act. What a screw-up,” said Olens.

He also said he was deeply concerned about the employer mandate’s potential criminal penalties and the prospect of more companies dropping spousal coverage in the event the spouse has an insurance option elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Olens did say a lawsuit out of Oklahoma has his attention. It challenges wording in the law that Olens says could jeopardize the federal subsidies promised to those in Georgia and other states that didn't create their own insurance exchanges.

He said the case could fundamentally threaten the law’s funding.

“If you can’t provide the premium subsidies, you can’t provide the dollars to provide the coverage,” said Olens.