New Report: Georgia Boots 300,000 Children off Medicaid

May 7, 2024

Governor Kemp Continues to Refuse Medicaid Expansion

Georgia among 3 worst states for child disenrollment as Kemp tries to take credit for 709,000 Georgians enrolling in federal ACA Marketplace plans

Today, a shocking new study reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that more than 300,000 Georgia children have been dropped from their Medicaid coverage on Gov. Brian Kemp’s watch – landing Georgia in the top three worst states in the country for child disenrollment.

Gov. Kemp’s mismanagement of state agencies emerged as a major driver of disenrollments, with experts citing outdated technology, a buggy website, closed offices, and difficulty reaching caseworkers by phone.

The report comes on the heels of Governor Kemp declaring that he is “in the ‘no camp” on full Medicaid expansion in 2025. In response to both the report and criticism of his failed “Pathways to Coverage” program, Kemp has tried to claim credit for Georgians who enrolled in insurance plans through the ACA Marketplace thanks to subsidies under President Biden. 

“Brian Kemp has utterly failed the 300,000 Georgia kids who can no longer go to the doctor when they’re sick,” said DPG spokesperson Alex Yerkey. “Children are suffering and the governor’s response is to take credit for a Biden administration program he loudly and stubbornly opposes.”      

Read more coverage of Kemp’s health care failures from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution below:

AJC: Report: Georgia drops 300,000 children from Medicaid
Ariel Hart, 5/6/24

  • Georgia dropped more than 300,000 children from the Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids health insurance program, with one of the worst child disenrollment rates in the nation, according to a new study from Georgetown University. The study authors fear the majority of them are now uninsured and might decide they cannot afford health care as a result.
  • Georgia’s number of children kicked off Medicaid was bigger by December than the entire population of Augusta or Columbus. Georgia disenrolled far more children than California, a state that started with more than double the child Medicaid enrollment of Georgia, the report found.
  • The Atlanta-Journal-Constitution’s reporting has also found Gateway to be an obstacle for some individual patients, especially those with only cellphones for a computer. Glitches in the Gateway mobile computer interface gave misleading information on patients’ accounts, for example.
  • AJC reporting also found that enrollees were told to seek help at the Medicaid office, only to find it closed, or that caseworkers work remotely. Enrollees have recounted rarely being able to get through to caseworkers by phone.
  • The study authors say there are measures that states still can take. But Texas, Georgia and Florida, the report said, are among states that “have prioritized the hasty disenrollment of adults and children, despite projections that many still remain eligible.”

AJC: Georgia Democrats slam Kemp’s kibosh on full Medicaid expansion
Ariel Hart, 5/3/2024

  • Democratic leaders of the Georgia Senate on Thursday lambasted Gov. Brian Kemp for his decision not to fully expand Medicaid to poor Georgia adults.
  • Their remarks, in a press conference held in front of a shuttered hospital, come after Kemp last month told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s “Politically Georgia” that not only did he oppose expanding Medicaid in the recent legislative session, but he was “in the no camp” for full Medicaid expansion in 2025 as well.
  • “This political gamesmanship and obstinance has horrific real world consequences for the hundreds of thousands of Georgians who remain uninsured and unable to access quality, affordable health care,” said Sen. Elena Parent, D-Atlanta, chairwoman of the Senate Democratic caucus.
  • The Democrats also challenged statistics that Kemp laid out to defend his position, saying that they were false.
  • Estimates vary, but perhaps 290,000 Georgia adults remain uninsured because Georgia has not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — to cover all its poor. Instead, Kemp devised a tailored solution that he forecasted would insure 90,000 Georgians. However, only 4,000 have enrolled since the program launched last July.


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