Release: Refusal to Expand Medicaid Deprives 478,000 Georgians Health Care

ACA in Action:  Millions Will Gain Health Coverage through Medicaid

Study shows that 478,000 Georgians are deprived of health coverage due to Gov. Nathan Deal’s refusal to expand Medicaid

 

Atlanta, GA –  Today, the Democratic Party of Georgia released figures highlighting recent data that show that there will be 478,000 fewer uninsured Georgian by 2016 if Governor Nathan Deal does the right thing by his constituents and takes advantage of the Medicaid expansion opportunity provided under the Affordable Care Act.

 

Because of the health care law, states can choose to expand their Medicaid coverage to all adults with incomes below 133% of poverty (around $32,000 for a family of four) and in return receive 100% of federal funding to cover those costs for the first three years and no less than 90% federal support for those costs in the years following. So far, 26 States and the District of Columbia have taken up this Medicaid expansion opportunity, giving millions of Americans access to affordable health care. In fact, thanks to these states and the opening of the new Health Insurance Marketplaces, we know that 6 in 10 currently uninsured Americans will have access to health coverage for $100 per month or less next year, and that number would rise to 8 in 10 if the states that haven’t expanded coverage – including Georgia – did.

 

Expanding Medicaid is a smart choice for health care providers in Georgia. It would mean 478,000 fewer uninsured Georgians. Accounting for factors that reduce costs, the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that states as a whole are likely to see net savings from expanding Medicaid. Combining Medicaid costs with a conservative estimate of $18 billion in state and local non-Medicaid savings on uncompensated care, the Medicaid expansion would save states a total of $10 billion over 2013-2022.

 

“This should be a no-brainer for Nathan Deal.  How many hard facts have to come out before he makes the right decision?” said Democratic Party of Georgia Chair DuBose Porter. “Look at Kentucky. Their governor makes the smart call to expand Medicaid and to date, over 60,000 of their residents now have health care.”

 

“Meanwhile, here in Georgia, we have hospitals closing their doors, particularly in rural areas where there are no other health care providers.  We’re leaving hundreds of thousands of Georgians out in the cold when it comes to affordable health care.  And our governor is leaving over $20 billion on the table while stonewalling affordable health care based on nothing but partisan politics.”

 

Helping middle class families and American small businesses take advantage of the benefits of the health care law like expanded Medicaid eligibility should be a top priority for lawmakers in Washington and here in Georgia.  Yet instead of working to fix the law, House Republicans have voted to repeal the health care law more than 40 times, even shutting down the government to prevent new benefits like the opportunity for 478,000 uninsured Georgians to gain access to affordable health care if Governor Deal did the right thing by his constituents. Our own Insurance Commissioner has done everything in his power to obstruct affordable health care and is even opposed to ending discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.

 

Governor Deal should do the right thing and expand Medicaid.

 

Background:

 

Kaiser Family Foundation:  Distribution of the Nonelderly Uninsured by Federal Poverty Level (FPL)

 

Georgia Health News 12/5/2013:  Study Calculates Cost of Expansion Decision

Georgia would see a net loss of $2.86 billion in 2022 if it were the only state remaining that did not increase its Medicaid program to cover more low-income adults, said the study, which takes into account the federal taxes paid by state residents for other states’ expansions.

 

Talking Points Memo 12/9/13:  Americans Discover They’re Trapped In GOP’s Medicaid Expansion Gap

It makes sense if you look at the numbers. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 38 percent of the U.S. uninsured have an income that’s below the poverty line — the population that won’t qualify for either Medicaid expansion or any financial help to purchase private coverage through the law in non-expanding states. About 5 million people fall in that gap in non-expanding states.

 

Atlanta Business Chronicle 12/6/13:  Study: Not expanding Medicaid losing proposition for Georgia

Georgia’s decision not to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act would result in a net loss in federal funds of nearly $2.9 billion in 2022, according to a new study.

Only 10 states would lose more net federal assistance than Georgia under a scenario painted by The Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit foundation that supports health-care research.

 

Think Progress 12/5/2013:  STUDY: States Rejecting Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion Will Cost Taxpayers Billions

Texas, Florida, Georgia, and other GOP-led states rejecting Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion are costing their residents billions of dollars by making them pay taxes into a system from which they won’t benefit, according to a new study by the Commonwealth Fund.

 

Politico 12/5/13:  Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear hits Mitch McConnell on Obamacare

“I have a U.S. senator who keeps saying Kentuckians don’t want this,” Beshear said. “Well, the facts don’t prove that out. There’s about 550,000 on our website right now who want it — and some 65,000 to 69,000 that have signed up. So Kentuckians do want it.”

 

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