Governor Grinch Continues to Deny Health Care to Georgians Amid COVID Surge

December 23, 2021

Ahead of Christmas, Brian Kemp vowed to waste more taxpayer money fighting for his partial, restrictive Medicaid proposal rather than simply fully expanding Medicaid at less cost to the state – leaving thousands of Georgians uninsured this winter while he continues to sit on his hands as COVID-19 surges across Georgia.

Kemp’s stubborn refusal to fully expand Medicaid to half a million Georgians and his “passive, hands-off” approach to COVID-19 pose a double threat to the health and wellbeing of the entire state this holiday season. Instead of implementing full Medicaid expansion, which is paid for and would cover up to 646,000 Georgians, Kemp is standing by his partial, restrictive Medicaid proposal, which would cost the state more money and cover fewer people. Kemp’s gubernatorial primary opponent David Perdue is just as bad – the failed former Senator voted to gut Medicaid expansion and also opposes curbing the spread of the virus.

“Brian Kemp and Georgia Republicans – who have the power to fully expand Medicaid right now – are entirely responsible for denying health care coverage to thousands of Georgians, and voters can see right through their pathetic, dishonest attempt to deflect blame,” said Rebecca Galanti, spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “As Georgia faces a COVID-19 surge and an astronomically high uninsured rate this Christmas, Brian Kemp is acting like the Grinch, withholding health care from half a million Georgians while prolonging the pandemic – and we know David Perdue would do the same. Georgians deserve a governor who puts people before politics, and voters will hold Republicans accountable at the ballot box for their continued failure to protect our health.”

BACKGROUND: Medicaid Expansion Would Bring Health Care, Jobs, and Economic Boost to Georgia

  • 646,000 Georgians stand to gain health coverage under Medicaid expansion. 
  • 269,000 Georgians remain uninsured because of Georgia’s failure to expand Medicaid, and Georgia’s uninsured rate of 13.7 percent is the third highest in the country.
  • Medicaid expansion would create an estimated 64,300 jobs across Georgia, including 22,000 in the health sector and thousands across other sectors.
  • Medicaid expansion could add 12,000 jobs and $1.3 billion to rural Georgia economies.
  • Federal funding would cover Georgia’s Medicaid expansion, with an estimated $710 million leftover.
  • By expanding Medicaid, Georgia would gain more than $3.5 billion in federal funding in 2022 and $110 million in increased state and local tax revenue.


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