Georgia could be only state to have Medicaid expansion come with work requirement

Gov. Brian Kemp at his election night watch party on Nov. 8, 2022. (Matthew Pearson/WABE)

A recent federal court ruling has cleared the path for Georgia to move forward with its limited expansion of Medicaid.

The idea, originally proposed by Republican Governor Brian Kemp when he took office in 2019, would require new participants to work or volunteer 80 hours each month.

Following the federal court’s decision and Kemp’s winning reelection, it appears the plan will move forward unless the federal government chooses to intervene.

Kaiser Health News correspondent Sam Whitehead spoke with WABE’s Jim Burress about why the Biden administration might not have stepped in yet.

Whitehead says the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services might be concerned that a loss in the court of appeals might set a stronger legal precedent for other states to include a work requirement.

Advocacy groups have said the reporting requirement will create a barrier for some people to get and keep coverage. They’ve also said the Kemp plan would be more expensive and cover a fraction of the people who would get Medicaid under a full expansion.