Ben Watson

Key Facts

Party Republican
Status Incumbent

Background

Ben Watson is a graduate of Emanuel County Institute and the University of Georgia. He is a primary care physician, where he practices internal medicine. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia. 
Watson was elected to the State Senate in 2014. He is Chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. He is a member of the Appropriations, Public Safety and Transportation Committees.  Previously, he has served on the Insurance and Labor Committee and the Veterans, Military and Homeland Security Committee [4].

Key Issues

Healthcare

Watson sponsored and supported SB 16, or “The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Act.” This bill added Georgia to the list of states that accept each other’s medical licenses, allowing doctors to practice between state lines. Watson also SB 106, or the “Patients First Act,” which allows Georgia to request federal waivers for Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act [4]. As the chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Watson gave 27 bills a “do pass” recommendation during the 2019 Legislative Session. These bills include: SB 18, which allows physicians to provide health care to a patient through a direct primary care agreement, SB 184, which requires state employee health insurance plans to pay for services provided by federally qualified health centers, HB 39, which enters Georgia into the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact, and HB 62, also known as “Margie’s Law,” which requires health care facilities that conduct mammograms to notify the patient when their results show dense breast tissue [6, 7].

Environment

Watson sponsored HB 445, which amended the current Shore Protection Act. This legislation specified where construction is and is not permitted on dunes, coastal beaches, and ecosystems. Watson also supports protecting Georgia’s estuarine areas [4].

Endorsements

Georgia Chamber of Commerce; National Federation of Independent Business – Georgia

Sources

1 Ballotpedia

2 Georgia General Assembly

3 Linked In

4 Official Website

5 Just Facts VOTE SMART

6 Senate Press (Laws That Will be Effective July 1st)

7 Senate Press (Margie’s Law and Shore Protection Act)