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Legislative Update: Early budget preview and opportunities for advocacy

Legislative Update: Week 1

The 2022 legislative session has begun
Picture of the Georgia capitol

The Georgia General Assembly convened (for less than 1 hour) last Monday, Jan. 10th to officially kick off the 40-day legislative session. 

GHF held Health Care Unscrambled on Tuesday as Georgians celebrated UGA’s national football championship win. Thank you to those who attended Health Care Unscrambled! We will be in touch with a recap and a recording of the event very soon! 

The General Assembly reconvened Wednesday through Friday, completing the first four days of the session. The primary focus of the first week of the 2022 legislative session was Governor Kemp’s State of the State address. 

This week will be dedicated primarily to budget hearings for the current (FY 2022 Amended) and next year’s (FY 2023 General) state budgets. The General Assembly will reconvene Monday, January 24th for the fifth official day of legislative session. 

Governor Kemp includes health care in State of the State Address

Governor Kemp submited his budget recommendations
Georgia image

On Thursday, Governor Kemp addressed the General Assembly in his annual State of the State address. Per tradition, he used the opportunity to introduce his proposed budget, and lay out his priorities for 2022. He addressed health care in the first half of his speech and spent much of his time touting the success of a new reinsurance program that is helping to lower premiums for people who shop for plans on the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

The Governor did not mention his plan to block Georgians from using the marketplace beginning this fall (a plan that is currently under review by the federal government), or any proposals to expand health insurance coverage to uninsured adults left behind by the state’s failure to expand Medicaid. The Governor announced he will work to keep new mothers covered by Medicaid for a longer period of time in an effort to address our state’s abyssmal maternal mortality rate. 

The Governor’s budget recommendations include:

  • $28 million to extend Medicaid coverage for new mothers from 6 months after birth (or miscarriage) to 12 months
  • $1.2 million for the University System of Georgia to expand upon nursing programs up to 500 students annually over 5 years
  • $2.5 million for 136 physician residency slots and $1 million dollars to Mercer University to address rural physician shortages
  • $23 million to separate Georgia from healthcare.gov with no replacement
  • $0 to implement the newly-approved Georgia Pathways program which–if implemented–would extend coverage to 270,000 low-income, uninsured adults

Opportunities for advocacy!

Speak up for a healthier Georgia during these virtual advocacy days!
Photo of a rally for health care at the Georgia capitol

Each week during the legislative session, we’ll highlight legislative advocacy days from partner groups. These are great opportunities for you to participate in the lawmaking process by meeting your legislators and speaking up about important issues. Upcoming:

GHF has you covered

Stay up-to-date with the legislative session
Icon capitol image

GHF will be monitoring legislative activity on a number of critical consumer health care topics. Along with our weekly legislative updates and timely analysis of bills, here are tools to help you stay in touch with health policy under the Gold Dome.

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