Posted by Timothy Sweeney
The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute today joined doctors, hospitals, patients and other nonprofits to announce Cover Georgia, a new coalition of more than 40 organizations working together to urge state officials to bring health coverage to hundreds of thousands of Georgians and boost Georgia’s economy by expanding Medicaid.
Nearly two million Georgians lack health coverage, including more than one-quarter of adults between the ages of 18 to 64. By both measures, Georgia ranks among the worst states in the country.
The national health care law passed in 2010, sometimes called Obamacare, provides Georgia with an undeniable opportunity to address this health care crisis beginning in 2014. Under the new law, Georgia can take advantage of billions of dollars in new federal funding to expand Medicaid to cover more people, including many working parents, starting in 2014. Without this expansion, most of them likely will remain without health insurance.
For three years federal funds will pay the full cost of covering these newly-eligible people. In the long term, Georgia will pay just 10 percent of the costs, only a 2 percent increase in the state budget. This is a great economic deal for the state. It will bring billions of dollars into Georgia’s economy and make our workforce healthier and more productive.
As a member of the Cover Georgia coalition, the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute will provide analysis that shows why expanding health coverage to more Georgians through the Medicaid expansion is good for our state economy, our communities and our people.