Peach Pulse | Advocacy in SwGA, new health transportation data, Gov.’s Medicaid plan hits a roadblock, & more!

Three out of four Georgia counties found to be health transportation shortage areas

Through our Georgians in the Driver’s Seat initiative, GHF and The Arc Georgia examined how transportation impacts access to health care in Georgia. In the first of two reports, GHF looks at data about each Georgia county to examine where Georgians may face the highest hurdles getting to and from health services because of transportation shortages. Our analysis suggests Georgians in most counties face some transportation-related barriers. GHF paired the analysis with input from consumers and health care providers to offer recommendations for policy solutions.


Check out your county’s results and learn how Georgia advocates, policy makers, and community members can work together to eliminate transportation as a barrier to health and health care!

Stay tuned for our follow-up report on the intersection of internet access, transportation, and health care!






Federal government rolls back approval of Gov. Kemp’s partial Medicaid expansion plan

Georgia’s state leaders continue to reject Medicaid expansion for a plan that would cover far fewer Georgians, impose burdensome work requirements, and leave millions in Georgia’s tax dollars on the table. But recently federal officials hit the brakes on the Governor’s plan, saying the proposed work requirements violate federal law and a recent Executive Order from President Biden. Georgia still has an option to cover more people through Medicaid expansion!

Federal officials will now revisit the thousands of comments Georgians submitted about the Governor’s plan since November 2019. Nine out of ten commenters opposed the Governor’s plan and supported Medicaid expansion instead! These comments will influence how federal officials negotiate with state leaders about the Governor’s plan.

What’s next for the Governor’s plan is a bit unclear, but Georgia still has the option to expand Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of Georgians! Even better, Congress’s upcoming COVID-19 relief package would increase Medicaid funding to more than cover the cost of full expansion for the first two years. Our state must take advantage of this one-time deal to expand Medicaid! Ask your state leaders to act now and expand Medicaid!







Special enrollment period runs through May 15th! is open for a special enrollment period from February 15 to May 15, 2021. Georgians have another chance to shop for quality, affordable health plans and enroll in coverage. Nine out of ten Georgians qualify for financial help to lower their premiums and other costs! Most Georgians who qualify for health insurance & financial help through the Affordable Care Act (also called “Obamacare”) are still uninsured. So help us spread the word!

If you need help figuring out if you qualify, how much financial help you can get, or have other questions, contact our partners at the Georgia Primary Care Association. Their help is free and unbiased:

  • Online help is here. Scroll to the bottom of the page to fill out the form for help
  • By phone: 1-844-442-7421

If you or your loved ones need more information about how health insurance works, what to do after you have signed up, and more, GHF has you covered! Check out GHF’s Get Help with Health Insurancelibrary so you and yours get covered and stay covered.

















2021 legislative session crosses half-way point

The Georgia legislative session is more than half-way over, but there is still plenty of opportunity for consumer-driven health policies to be approved by legislators! You can view a full list of the health legislation that we are tracking here. Here are a few of the bills we are currently monitoring and supporting:

  • SB 80, the Ensuring Transparency in Prior Authorization Act, is sponsored by Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick and aims to increase access to care by putting common sense guardrails around prior authorization. (Learn more about prior authorization in our February 8th legislative update.) The Senate Insurance Committee approved SB 80 this week.
  • HB 163, sponsored by Rep. Sharon Cooper, directs Georgia’s Medicaid program to adopt “express lane” eligibility for kids who qualify for Medicaid coverage. The change would make it easier for uninsured Georgia kids who already qualify for Medicaid to enroll and stay covered. The House passed HB 163 earlier this month and the Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved it this week.
  • SB 172, sponsored by Sen. Gloria Butler, would allow Georgia to fully expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Georgia is one of only 12 states that continues to reject federal money to cover low-income adults. Medicaid expansion would cover more than 500,000 Georgians. SB 172 has not yet been considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

















GHF joins Voices for Health Justice project to build health advocacy capacity in Southwest Georgia

Voices for Health Justice is a new initiative led by Community Catalyst, Community Change, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The focus of this initiative is to develop and strengthen engagement in health advocacy through grassroots organizing, racial justice, and anti-racism.


In the Georgia Voices for Health Justice project, GHF and our project partners at Georgia Equality and the New Georgia Project will work with Black and brown community members in Southwest Georgia.  Using a leadership development model, community members will learn health advocacy and organizing skills so they are prepared to lead effective community-driven advocacy that improves health outcomes and builds racial equity.


Check out this press release from Community Catalyst to learn more about this project and look for updates from GHF and our partners as we begin this exciting work.















GHF’s donor self-service portal puts you in charge

When you give to GHF, you guarantee that our organization can effectively organize and amplify the voices of Georgia health care consumers now and in the future!
Donors to GHF can now use our new donor self-service portal (just below our existing donation form) to manage your donations, and update your payment and contact information. Your supporter account makes it easier for you to ensure your gifts are having the biggest impact at GHF. Thank you for your support and for helping GHF make a difference!
Not yet a donor to GHF? You can give a one-time or monthly donation here!

Georgia Governor and Department of Public Health debut new website to register for COVID-19 vaccination 

Last week, Governor Kemp and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) announced a new website where Georgians can pre-register to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Eligible Georgians can book appointments through and those who are not yet eligible can sign up to be notified when they become eligible.

Current vaccine priority list:

  • Front-line health care workers
  • Residents of long-term care facilities (like nursing homes)
  • Adults over the age of 65
  • First responders, including law enforcement and firefighters






Parity Law Aims To Equalize Mental Health And Addiction Coverage With Physical Care
GPB | February 11, 2021

Georgia lawmakers move to get more children insured
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | February 12, 2021

Biden administration threatens Medicaid work requirements in state
Albany Herald | February 13, 2021

Kemp’s health care overhaul in Georgia thrown into limbo
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | February 15, 2021

Biden administration puts Georgia Medicaid overhaul on hold
CBS 46 | February 16, 2021

‘Express lane’ children’s Medicaid bill clears Georgia State House
Gwinnett Daily Post | February 16, 2021

Special enrollment period now open for ACA, could benefit thousands of Georgians without health care
WSB-TV | February 17, 2021

Georgia leader’s Medicaid plan halted by agency
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette | February 17, 2021

Ossoff pitches COVID relief plan as Georgia ramps up vaccine output
Georgia Recorder | February 19, 2021