Laura Colbert, the executive director of the patient-advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future, is especially concerned about rural patients. Ninety percent of Georgia’s Obamacare customers would be protected from…
Blog (August 2017)
At the center of Congress’s recent health care debates has been Medicaid, the government health insurance program for low-income children, seniors, people with disabilities, and pregnant women., and significant support for the program from the public and elected officials is one of the primary factors in the demise of several health reform bills in the U.S. Senate. Since its enactment in 1965, Medicaid has provided millions of Americans with critical health care coverage and services, and it is the largest source of federal funding in state budgets.
In Georgia, Medicaid provides critical support for the health, education, family life, ability to work, and aging of people across the state. Our state’s Medicaid program:
- Provides health insurance for half of all Georgia children, including 100% of foster children;
- Ensures almost 40,000 people with disabilities can live and work in their communities rather than in institutions;
- Supports healthy mothers and babies by covering half of all Georgia births;
- Assists more than 70,000 low-income seniors by covering their Medicare co-pays and deductibles;
- Keeps kids in school by providing needed supports for the 118,000 students with disabilities statewide and funding for school nurses;
- Is the primary payer for 75% of Georgia’s nursing home stays;
- Connects people with substance use disorders to life-saving treatment; and
- Provides health insurance for around 2 million Georgians (20% of the state).
On July 30th, we celebrated the 52nd anniversary of Medicaid (and Medicare), and despite the overwhelming evidence that the program works, its future has been called into jeopardy. Efforts to cut and dismantle Medicaid, wrapped in the cloak of repealing the Affordable Care Act have so far been derailed, but the threat has not yet subsided. Medicaid beneficiaries and supporters alike must continue to oppose any such efforts. If we want to ensure that Medicaid will have another 52 years to contribute to Georgia’s health and prosperity, we have to continue to let our elected officials know we fully support the program and will not accept cuts, caps, block grants or any other proposal that would jeopardize the care of millions and throw our state budget into chaos. We must continue to communicate Medicaid’s importance and put forth evidence-based, patient-centered proposals that strengthen the program and enhance its value for Georgia. We hope you will join us as we work to ensure Georgians can count on Medicaid for another 52 years and more.
For more information about Georgia’s Medicaid program, check out GHF’s Medicaid chart book.