As Georgia “Leads the Country” in Unemployment, Republican Senate Contenders Won’t Back Down on Attacks on Health Care

May 21, 2020

Trump administration plows forward with lawsuit to “terminate” health care law as Georgia Republicans face their own disastrous health care records

ATLANTA — Newly released unemployment numbers show Georgia reaching “an all-time record high” unemployment rate while over 38 million Americans nationwide have lost their jobs and as many as 27 million have lost health care coverage — but Georgia’s Republican Senate contenders still won’t stand up to the Trump administration as it refuses to reopen health care exchanges and presses ahead with a lawsuit to completely overturn the health care law.

While President Donald Trump has recently doubled down on his plan to “terminate health care,” Senator David Perdue and Congressman Doug Collins are facing their own records of repeatedly voting to gut the health care law in Congress. Senator Kelly Loeffler, meanwhile, has refused to say anything as she manages the fallout from her stock trading scandal beyond pledging to stand behind Trump and Republican leadership “100%” — a promise that would include this dangerous lawsuit that could rip access to care away from millions of Americans.

Yet even as Georgia “leads the country” in unemployment and health care coverage becomes voters’ top priority for 2020, none of Georgia’s Republican Senate contenders will disavow these toxic and dangerous attacks on the health care law — or Governor* Brian Kemp’s “reckless” and failed plan to reopen Georgia against “the warnings of many public health officials.” 

“While most Georgians are worried about their health and their economic security, Georgia Republicans are more focused on their political prospects,” said Alex Floyd, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “Access to health care is more important than ever, but Georgia’s Republican Senate contenders would rather push their partisan agenda than do what’s best for Georgia families.”

Read more about Georgia Republicans’ botched pandemic response:

POLITICO: Reopening reality check: Georgia’s jobs aren’t flooding back

  • Georgia’s early move to start easing stay-at-home restrictions nearly a month ago has done little to stem the state’s flood of unemployment claims — illustrating how hard it is to bring jobs back while consumers are still afraid to go outside.
  • Weekly applications for jobless benefits have remained so elevated that Georgia now leads the country in terms of the proportion of its workforce applying for unemployment assistance. A staggering 40.3 percent of the state’s workers — two out of every five — has filed for unemployment insurance payments since the coronavirus pandemic led to widespread shutdowns in mid-March, a POLITICO review of Labor Department data shows.
  • Georgia, which began pushing to resume economic activity on April 24, presents an early reality check as the White House amps up pressure on governors to lift shutdown orders and President Donald Trump’s economic advisers predict jobless claims will nosedive after the reopening.
  • And in Georgia, public polling indicates that confidence has yet to return. Nearly two-thirds of Georgia residents in a recent Washington Post-Ipsos poll said they felt their state was lifting restrictions too quickly, and only 39 percent said they approved of Kemp’s handling of the outbreak.
  • Many economists dispute the idea that lifting restrictions will by itself mean a major boost to the labor market, in part because of evidence that layoffs accelerated in March separate from governors’ shutdown restrictions.

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