AJC: 6th Hospital Closure Under Kemp Hurts All Georgians

September 13, 2022

In a new piece, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Editorial Board is highlighting how the closure of the Atlanta Medical Center is one piece of Georgia’s health care system that’s failing under Gov. Brian Kemp and risking Georgians’ health and well-being.

The Atlanta Medical Center is the sixth hospital to shut down under Kemp, but the governor still refuses to expand Medicaid, which prevents Georgia from accessing billions in federal funds to help support struggling hospitals and which also blocks 500,000 Georgians from accessing affordable health care. Georgia is one of just twelve states that hasn’t expanded Medicaid.

38 states, including many under Republican governors, and Washington D.C., have expanded Medicaid. Earlier this year, Kemp campaigned with former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Mike Pence, who both expanded Medicaid during their terms as governor.

The AJC Editorial Board piece also notes that about 1.4 million Georgians have no health insurance, an uninsured rate 50% higher than the national average. Under Kemp, Georgia’s uninsured rate is the 2nd highest in the nation at 14.5%.

Read more from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Editorial Board: Hospital’s Closing Affects Us All

  • All of Atlanta – and Georgia – should care about the unfolding crisis that is the pending closure of Atlanta Medical Center, known as AMC.
  • AMC is a critical part of our health care infrastructure – a system that was tightly stretched and undersized, even before Wellstar Health System announced it was closing the hospital.
  • AMC downtown is one of only two Level 1 trauma centers in this metro. Grady Memorial Hospital is the other one. Level 1 means a hospital is prepared 24/7 to respond to the most traumatic of injuries or even large-scale disasters that can flood emergency rooms with masses of people on a moment’s notice.
  • In an opinion piece last week, an ER physician and an Emory University professor of public health both explained well why we should all care: They noted metro Atlanta’s hard-won prominence as an A-list convention and tourism destination and reminded us that “many Atlantans can recall that Grady and AMC (then known as Georgia Baptist Hospital) represented half of the places where victims of the 1996 Olympic bombing received treatment.”
  • 1.4 million people in this state…lack medical insurance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Our uninsured rate is some 50% higher than the national average.
  • We’d be remiss in not noting that Georgia is 1 of 12 states that have not fully expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. We’re not alone in that stance, but other conservative, Southern states like Louisiana, Arkansas and Kentucky signed on years ago and have seen the overall health of their population improve as a result. 
  • The epidemic of hospital closures that we’re enduring across Georgia confirms a commonsense diagnosis: We have much more to do.


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