Peach Pulse | Sine Die Update, Coverage Gap News, National Public Health Week, & more!


Stay Informed with GHF Updates.


Tomorrow, March 28th, marks the end of the legislative session, known as Sine Die. This week will be busy at the Capitol with lawmakers working long hours to finish bills and budget changes before midnight on Thursday.

GHF is closely monitoring several pieces of legislation, including proposals that would make it easier for mental health and substance use providers to serve Georgians; damage access to evidence-based medical care for transgender youth; and slash Georgia’s Housing Tax Credit.

Stay updated by following GHF and #gapol on social media. Next week, we’ll share a legislative update summarizing what was achieved and what wasn’t during this year’s session.




This year, Georgia had two realistic chances to provide health coverage for more people but unfortunately, our state leaders have not closed the coverage gap just yet. On March 21st, the Senate’s Regulated Industries Committee held a crucial hearing about House Bill 1077, which proposed a new program called PeachCare Plus to offer no-cost, private health insurance to the uninsured Georgians who are currently stuck in the coverage gap. It is the first time that a Georgia legislative committee has held a hearing for a bill that would fully close the coverage gap. After testimony from GHF’s Executive Director, the committee cast a tie vote of 7-7, meaning that HB 1077 didn’t pass. We’re grateful to the legislators who supported covering over 500,000 Georgians in need, and we hope they’ll keep pushing for it. Join us in saying “thank you” to those who voted in favor of closing the coverage gap.

Another opportunity to close the gap came through modifying House Bill 1339. This bill mainly deals with regulating hospitals but also includes a provision to explore closing Georgia’s coverage gap in 2025 or 2026 through a new Comprehensive Health Coverage Commission. HB 1339 received final approvals from both the House and Senate late last week. If the Governor signs it into law, the commission will likely start working on this issue this summer. We’ll keep you updated on the Commission’s progress and how you can get involved. Let’s keep advocating for a healthier future for all Georgians.

We’re thrilled to share a report released by the Georgia Health Initiative this week. This economic analysis estimates the gains that Georgia and Georgians would experience as a result of closing the coverage gap.Closing Georgia’s gap would generate more than 51,000 new jobs statewide each year in its first three years. Personal incomes would grow by $900 per household.

The report details its results by county and public health district for an even more localized look at the benefits of closing Georgia’s coverage gap.

The issue brief, available here, presents an overview of the results and the full analysis is available here.


Partner with GHF to protect local decision-making

Local cities and counties are important testing grounds for policies that improve community well-being and health. Trying out innovative ideas like locally-managed internet access, paid family leave, or local tobacco taxes can help close health and economic gaps for certain communities, and they help demonstrate the impacts of policies and programs if they were expanded to the state or federal level.

Increasingly, corporate lobbyists are influencing state lawmakers to use a tool called “preemption” to limit Georgia communities from trying out these kinds of new ideas. GHF is building a coalition of dedicated advocates to stand against harmful preemption policies that silence local voices and prevent communities from adopting policies that promote well-being and fairness for all residents.

As a coalition member, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Collaborate with GHF team members to shape the conversation around preemption in Georgia and its impact across various issues like public health, elections, internet access, & more.
  • Strategize about how to effectively defend against harmful preemption efforts that strip away local control.
  • Elevate your voice and empower other Georgians to advocate for community liberties and policies that support the health and well-being of all Georgia residents.

We believe that understanding how harmful state overreach takes place is key to our advocacy efforts. Check out GHF’s video and blog to learn more.

Interested in joining? Click the sign-up button below! If you want to learn more about how preemption may impact your local community before you consider joining, please reach out to GHF’s Organizing Manager Knetta Adkins at

Together, let’s ensure communities have the decision-making power they need to build a healthier, more equitable future for all Georgians.



Recognizing the power of public health all next week! 

Join GHF to celebrate National Public Health Week (NPHW), happening from April 1st through April 7th. NPHW highlights the crucial role that Georgia’s public health agencies, workers, and laws play in keeping our families and communities safe and healthy.

To help lift the voices and perspectives of Georgia’s public health workers, we’re spotlighting this recent blog. In it, our local and state public health professionals shed light on the value of public health services to community members, the ongoing challenges that public health agencies face with staffing, funding, and other resources, and what they want state leaders to know about public health.

You can show your appreciation for Georgia’s great public health workers by signing GHF’s ‘Say “Yes” for Public Health’ petition and sharing it with others in your community!


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution | March 20, 2024: Georgia’s Medicaid work requirements cost millions, despite low enrollment

Capitol-Beat | March 21, 2024: State Senate panel narrowly rejects Medicaid expansion

WABE | March 21, 2024: Showdown on Medicaid expansion heats up as Georgia legislative session winds down


Peach Pulse | Crossover Day is here! Public health workers speak out, & more!


Today marks Crossover Day, a pivotal point in Georgia’s legislative session where bills must be approved by their originating chamber. Once approved, the bills move across the Capitol to the other chamber. Bills that fail to pass out of their chamber of origin by the end of Crossover Day are unlikely to become law this session. (There are occasional exceptions to this rule.)

In the remaining days of the session, GHF will continue to advocate for closing the coverage gap, among other issues. Earlier this week HB 1339 was passed by the House and has moved on to the Senate chamber. This legislation – while primarily focused on the state’s certificate of need program for hospitals – includes a provision that would establish a Comprehensive Health Coverage Commission to explore closing Georgia’s coverage gap in the 2025 or 2026 legislative session.

While HB 1339 signals legislative interest in finding a solution, lawmakers have the power to close the coverage gap right now. Delaying access to health care for hardworking Georgians is costly for families, harms the state’s workforce, and strains rural hospitals. Rather than agreeing to study the issue, lawmakers should work together to pass legislation that allows Georgia to close the coverage gap this year. Contact your Senator today and urge them to close the coverage gap now!  (See our full action alert in the next section below.)

With four weeks remaining in the session, committees are working quickly to hear and vote on legislation. Expect a lot of activity today, and be sure to look out for updates about health and housing legislation in our email update this Monday.




Thank you again for your support and your advocacy! 

We continue to extend our gratitude to the health care professionals, patients, and advocates who joined us for Cover Georgia’s advocacy day at the Capitol earlier this week! Advocates spent their time talking with elected officials and urging them to take action to close the coverage gap immediately to protect the health of all Georgians. Whether you attended in person or emailed or called your elected officials, you helped ensure lawmakers heard from Georgians about the need to close Georgia’s coverage gap! Thank you!

Couldn’t make it to the Capitol on Monday? You can still make your voice heard!

Let your Senator and Governor Kemp know that you care about closing Georgia’s coverage gap and you want them to take action during this legislative session by modifying HB 1339 by including language that will close the coverage gap now! Take a few minutes to contact them about why this issue matters to you.

  1. Find and call your state Senator here. Call the last two officials on the page. (Please be polite when you speak with your elected officials or their staff.) Not sure what to say? We’ve got you covered–just click here.
  2. Email your state Senator. Urge them to close Georgia’s Medicaid coverage gap during this legislative session.

Once you’ve contacted your elected officials, get loud on social media! Click here to access sample social media graphics and more to engage Georgians with messages about how closing Georgia’s coverage gap will benefit Georgia.



What do public health workers have to say about the state of public health in Georgia?

GHF recently released a blog that explores the state’s public health system from the perspectives of Georgia’s public health workers. The blog discusses findings from focus groups with rural and nonrural public health workers.

Through these focus groups, GHF learned about how public health workers view their work, the variety and quality of services their agencies provide, barriers to public health services that community members may experience, and challenges with staffing, funding, and sustaining public health services across the state.

You can read more about what these incredible public health workers had to say here. 

GHF is using this information to encourage state leaders to adequately fund and support public health in Georgia. We will only be successful if leaders know that Georgians like you care about this issue. Show your support for public health workers, programs, and agencies here in Georgia by signing our Say “Yes” for Public Health’ petition and sharing the petition with others in your community!




Laura Colbert named as a 2024 Consumer Liaison Representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners!

GHF’s Executive Director, Laura Colbert, has been appointed as a Consumer Liaison Representative for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The NAIC’s Consumer Liaison program enables health care consumers and patient advocates from around the country to provide input from the consumer perspective as state insurance regulators work to oversee insurance products and protect insurance consumers. Having representation from Georgia’s health advocacy community in this program helps to ensure the voices of health care consumers in Georgia are heard as important decisions about health insurance and consumer protections are made.

Read more about Laura’s appointment here.






One person’s story has the power to transform a decade of resistance into a resounding ‘yes’ for closing the gap. Our fellow Georgians and our lawmakers need to hear about your health challenges and victories.

Experiences like yours let lawmakers know what’s working, and what’s not, in our health care system. Your story shows our leaders why we need to change laws & policies so that health care is more affordable, accessible, and benefits our communities. Let our GHF team work with you to share your health care story.

We’re particularly interested in hearing from you if you are uninsured, enrolled in health insurance through, have or had medical debt, or have Medicaid coverage.

We now have a new way to submit your story! Text your story! Text “MedEx” to “52886” to begin sharing your story.

We welcome all stories, so don’t be shy! Share your story now! Write or record your story here. Story sharers may be paid for their time.



State Affairs | February 13, 2024: Opinion: How Georgia can better support Children and families amid Medicaid unwinding

11Alive News | February 14, 2024: More than 550,000 people in Georgia removed from Medicaid so far in redetermination process, official says

Georgia Recorder | February 23, 2024: GOP lawmakers ready to ease limits on hospital construction, set aside Medicaid expansion for now