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Caucus Urges Governor Deal to Expand Medicaid

Credit Michelle Wirth/WABE News

Members of Georgia’s Legislative Black Caucus are urging Governor Deal to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. 

Members say without the expansion, hundreds of thousands of Georgians will remain uninsured. Dee Dawkins-Haigler chairs the Caucus.

“It is callous political leadership that would deny healthcare coverage to the most vulnerable populations of this state.

Atlanta Democratic Senator Vincent fort says if the state continues to turn down Medicaid expansion, urban safety net hospitals like Grady Memorial Hospital won’t get a needed infusion of federal funding. But he says rural safety net hospitals are in the greatest danger of closing.

“Grady has hundreds of beds, but these hospitals that have 50-100 beds or less are going to be at great risk.”

He says it’s because as a number of states expand Medicaid under the law, federal funds to help safety net hospitals treat the uninsured are decreasing at the same time.

“What is happening in Georgia is a double whammy.”

Last year, Governor Nathan Deal turned down Medicaid expansion saying it would be too costly. Brian Robinson, a spokesperson for the Governor, says Deal continues to remain opposed to adding more to the state’s Medicaid roles. Robinson says, “That would cost us $2.5 billion over 10 years. That would have devastating consequences for education and for taxpayers.”