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Conservative Groups Call On Georgia Legislature To Defeat HB 1013

CHQ has joined others in the State Freedom Caucus Network to urge the defeat of

Georgia’s HB 1013. This bill falls short of upholding many longstanding Republican principles. It expands government, increases costs, enshrines progressive ideologies, and harms civil liberties. It also contains far too many problematic provisions and we urge the legislature of Georgia to cease any advancement of the bill through legislative processes. Governor Kemp should issue a preemptive notice of an intent to veto the bill in order to send a strong message to Georgians that their rights are not up for debate.


We, the undersigned, have serious concerns about HB 1013, The Georgia Mental Health Parity Act. This bill constitutes a government expansion of healthcare that is currently unopposed by Democrats, and supported by some Republicans due to a combination of misinformation being pushed by some proponents, and a misunderstanding about many primary and secondary effects and consequences of the legislation.


First, this bill explicitly includes a new, expansive mandate on insurance companies to cover a range of mental health services and treatments that go beyond the scope of even Obamacare and other relevant federal laws. A decade of experience with Obamacare proves that increasing mandates increases premium costs on consumers. New premium increases could hit Georgians at a time of skyrocketing inflation, fuel prices, and cost of living increases when hard-working Georgians can least afford it.


Adding additional mandates on services that many Georgians may not want or need, knowing that insurance companies will pass that cost onto all consumers, is a recipe for increased financial hardship. The Georgia Mental Health Policy Partnership, an advocacy group tied to the psychiatrists that stand to profit from these changes, tacitly admitted this would happen, stating "Any attempted increase in premiums by insurers due to HB 1013 would be an admission that insurers have not been meeting their legal obligation...". This is an admission that Georgians will see their premiums go up.


Second, we know that new mandates, a new mental health parity officer, and potentially billions of dollars' worth of loan forgiveness for mental health practitioners in this bill are leaning in one direction: towards the socialist single-payer model preferred by progressives. As Democrat Rep. Dexter Sharper stated during debate over the bill's passage in the Georgia House, "If in the future we do expand Medicaid, not only will we give Georgians hope in this bill, we will also make that a reality." HB 1013 is yet another example of government driving a wedge between patients and access to an affordable market-based system.


Third, the bill imposes ideological determinations about gender, sexual orientation, and racism under the guise of scientific consensus. This is done by codifying the DSM-5 in statute as a reference for all mental health screening and treatment paid for by insurers, including for those with taxpayer subsidized healthcare.


This is the same DSM-5 that had to be altered upon its release so that pedophilia was not coded as a "sexual orientation" and that in a forthcoming update "includes a comprehensive review of the impact of racism and discrimination on the diagnosis and manifestations of mental disorders." Rather than carefully going through the DSM-5 and eliminating blatantly ideological diagnoses and treatments that taxpayers should not be on the hook for, like gender reassignment surgery, many Republicans have joined with Democrats in this bill to further the pernicious impacts of progressive ideology on public health.


Finally, HB 1013 poses significant civil liberties concerns because of changes to Georgia's involuntary commitment laws. The bill lowers the standard of who may be involuntarily committed and held for mental health screening. Currently, a police officer must believe someone poses an imminent threat of danger to themselves or others. HB 1013 lowers that protection to a "reasonable expectation" that they may be a danger sometime in the future. These changes would likely be interpreted or implemented in ways that would constitute backdoor red flag laws and lead to the denial of many protected rights, like gun ownership, without sufficient due process. Those Democrats who have taken issue with policing practices would appear to be at odds with themselves by also embracing this provision.


This bill falls short of upholding many longstanding Republican principles. It expands government, increases costs, enshrines progressive ideologies, and harms civil liberties. It also contains far too many problematic provisions and we urge the legislature of Georgia to cease any advancement of the bill through legislative processes. Governor Kemp should issue a preemptive notice of an intent to veto the bill in order to send a strong message to Georgians that their rights are not up for debate.



Andrew Roth

President

State Freedom Caucus Network


David McIntosh

President

Club for Growth


Ricardo Davis

President

Georgia Right to Life


Patrick Witt

Former Deputy Chief of Staff

U.S. Office of Personnel Management


Wade Miller

Executive Director

Citizens for Renewing America


Brant Frost V

President

Georgia Conservatives in Action


Alex Johnson

President

Georgia Republican Assembly


Colleen Holcomb

President

Eagle Forum


Suzi Voyles

President

Georgia Eagle Forum


Noah Wall

Executive Vice President

FreedomWorks, Inc.


Rick Manning

President

Americans for Limited Government


Jordan Stein

Southeast Regional Director

Gun Owners of America


Dudley Brown

President

National Association for Gun Rights


George Rasley

Managing Editor

ConservativeHQ.ocm


Jenny Beth Martin

Honorary Chairman

Tea Party Patriots Action


Terry Schilling

President

American Principles Project


Kay Godwin

Vice President

Georgia Conservatives in Action


Dr. Ginny Hall

President

We the People Southeast Georgia


Joy Turner

Vice-President

We the People Southeast Georgia


  • State Freedom Caucus Network

  • Georgia HB 1013

  • Gov. Brian Kemp

  • Intent to veto

  • The Georgia Mental Health Parity Act

  • Insurance mandates

  • Mental Health coverage

  • Health Insurance Premiums

  • inflation

  • Single payer model

  • gender

  • sexual orientation

  • gender reassignment surgery

  • red flag laws

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