NEWS & MEDIA
In The News
Georgians for a Healthy Future is frequently cited in news articles about health care issues, ensuring the consumer perspective is heard. Read news stories featuring Georgians for a Healthy Future’s perspective below.
“The best-case scenario is that some uninsured Georgians would get coverage for some amount of time,’’ Laura Colbert, executive director of the consumer advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future, told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. “It’s going to be a big headache for the state and for people who enroll or try to enroll.”
Georgia’s per-enrollee cost for the work requirement program is expected to be at least three times higher than it would be under a regular Medicaid expansion, said Colbert.
The federal government would have paid for at least 90% of the costs of insuring hundreds of thousands of Georgians under a full expansion. That compares with the expected 67% matching rate from the feds under the slimmer Kemp plan. And that difference doesn’t account for a Biden administration incentive for expansion that would net Georgia $710 million, according to a KFF estimate.
“The best-case scenario is that some uninsured Georgians would get coverage for some amount of time,’’ said Laura Colbert, executive director of the consumer advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future. “It’s going to be a big headache for the state and for people who enroll or try to enroll.”
“In the best-case scenario, some uninsured Georgians would be insured for some time,” said Laura Colbert, executive director of consumer advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future. “It’s going to be a huge headache for the state and people who are enrolling or trying to enroll.”
Georgia’s cost per participant for the work-requirement program is expected to be at least three times higher than a regular Medicaid extension, Colbert said.
The administrative obstacles to the Kemp work plan would be significant, say consumer advocates. Full-time workers, people with mental illnesses or substance use disorders, and people who can’t work but haven’t yet qualified for disability insurance would have a hard time qualifying, Colbert said.
CMS’s decision not to appeal “was a little surprising,” Colbert said, but added that another unfavorable court ruling could pose a risk to other states’ Medicaid programs because it paves the way for other job requirements.
“The Governor’s Pathways program makes it unnecessarily difficult for low-income people to gain health coverage. The program requires workers and students to repeatedly prove they are working or studying, rather than making it simpler for them to go to the doctor and fill prescriptions,” said Laura Colbert, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future, an advocacy group.
“Because of the program’s complications, only a fraction of low-income uninsured adults will get health insurance. Medicaid expansion would be a simpler and more cost-effective solution for Georgia and uninsured Georgians,” Colbert said.
For 10 years, Georgia state leaders have blocked access to affordable health coverage via Medicaid to almost 600,000 Georgians, Knetta Adkins with Georgians for a Healthy Future said last month.
Reimbursements for that medical care for patients who can’t afford to pay would go up significantly if the state fully expands Medicaid, said Laura Colbert, who heads the policy group Georgians for a Healthy Future.
“Many more of their patients would be insured and therefore that would reduce the losses that they see at the hospitals,” she said.
Full Medicaid expansion would cover at least 75,000 more people in the two counties and funnel millions of dollars into supporting safety net hospitals, said Laura Colbert, executive director of the health policy organization Georgians for a Healthy Future.
“Grady does amazing work but there are only so many doctors and so many patient rooms and so many resources that they have, and they need support in providing care for this community as well,” Colbert said.