Peach Pulse: November 9, 2012

Special Health Reform Edition

This week’s election results removed any uncertainty about the Affordable Care Act’s future: the health reform law is here to stay. Now it is time to do the hard work of ensuring that health reform meets its promise in Georgia and that health care consumers have access to meaningful and affordable coverage.

Over the past three days, several news stories have outlined the key next steps and decision points for Georgia policymakers on Medicaid and the private health insurance marketplace, and many of them turned to Georgians for a Healthy Future to explain the implications for Georgia health care consumers.

Georgians for a Healthy Future’s Executive Director Cindy Zeldin discussed the need to move forward with the Medicaid expansion in an interview with the Augusta Chronicle: “We have one of the highest uninsured rates in the nation…We have one of the highest number of uninsured in the nation. And many of them are low to moderate income. The Medicaid piece is really what is going to make a dent in the uninsured in a big way.” She also talked about the important role expanding Medicaid (which is optional for states but largely federally financed) can play in improving access to care and bolstering Georgia’s economy and what it means for consumers if Georgia opts for a federal health insurance exchange rather than a state-based exchange. All articles are linked below.

Georgia expected to spar over Medicaid expansion in election aftermath
The Augusta Chronicle  | November 8, 2012

Big healthcare decisions loom for state in election’s wake
Atlanta Journal-Constitution  | November 7, 2012

Deal: No state exchange likely under Obamacare
11 Alive News  | November 8, 2012

Deal suggests Ga. unlikely to run health exchange
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer  | November 7, 2012

Health care law lives — and Ga. faces big choices
Georgia Health News  | November 7, 2012


Perhaps the biggest issue for Georgia’s policymakers to consider in the coming months is the Medicaid expansion. Leveraging the resources on the table to expand Medicaid will improve access to care, strengthen our state’s health care delivery system, and bolster Georgia’s economy. If your organization would like to join the Cover Georgia coalition in support of expanding Medicaid, email Georgians for a Healthy Future’s Outreach and Advocacy Director Amanda Ptashkin.