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Cover Georgia: implement the Medicaid expansion

Following last week’s Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, Georgia policymakers have an unprecedented opportunity to improve the health of Georgia citizens, strengthen our state’s health care delivery system, and bolster the state’s economy by moving forward with full implementation of the Medicaid expansion authorized by the law.

 

The Medicaid expansion will benefit uninsured Georgians, Georgia health care providers, and Georgia’s economy. At the heart of health reform is the commitment that all Americans have a pathway to affordable health care coverage. Georgia has one of the highest rates of uninsurance in the country, with nearly two million uninsured.

 

This means that two million Georgians struggle to access medical care when they need it and often delay or forgo care until it becomes urgent, resulting in poorer health outcomes, higher costs, and reduced productivity. About half of Georgia’s uninsured stand to gain coverage through the Medicaid expansion, which will ensure basic access to care for some of our state’s most vulnerable citizens.

 

This expansion is financed almost entirely with federal dollars, with the federal government paying 100 percent of the cost in the first three years and 90 percent thereafter. Billions of dollars will flow directly to doctors and hospitals so that they can provide necessary medical care, and this infusion of resources into Georgia will spark growth in the health care sector and, in turn, the state’s economy. Georgia policymakers should seize this opportunity to improve our state’s health and our state’s economy.

 

 


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