GBPI Statement on the Signage of SB 65

ATLANTA, GEORGIA — Today, the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute released a statement in response to the Governor’s signage of Senate Bill 65, which authorizes the Insurance Commissioner to establish a state-based marketplace, shifting Georgia away from Healthcare.gov.

Launching two new, state-run health care programs—a state-based marketplace and Georgia’s partial Medicaid expansion program—while also unwinding the pandemic-era Medicaid continuous coverage policy creates unnecessary risk and instability for Georgia’s health care safety net. Delaying the transition to a state-based marketplace and focusing efforts on closing the Medicaid coverage gap is a more stable path to expanding access to affordable health care.

Statement from Leah Chan, GBPI Senior Health Policy Analyst:

Introducing a state-based marketplace and the Pathways to Coverage program during the Medicaid unwinding puts Georgia’s Health Safety Net on an uncertain Path. Instituting these programs simultaneously could create unnecessary risks that could be burdensome for state employees, costly for the state, and harmful for Georgians who depend on Georgia’s health care safety net. The state should delay implementing the state-based marketplace until after the completion of the Medicaid unwinding process to ensure a successful marketplace launch that keeps more Georgians covered. Additionally, Georgia should prioritize full Medicaid expansion to help keep Georgians covered and minimize the human and fiscal costs of Medicaid unwinding. Rather than rolling out the costly and restrictive Pathways to Coverage program, federal financial incentives should be used to expand Medicaid eligibility to more people.

In the coming days, GBPI will release a blog on the potential risks of initiating these programs during Medicaid unwinding.

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The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute (GBPI) strives to be an anti-racist research and advocacy organization that advances lasting solutions to expand economic opportunity and well-being for all Georgians. We examine the state’s budget, taxes and public policies to provide thoughtful analysis and responsible solutions that address inequities in our state. We educate the public about complex issues confronting Georgia. We activate Georgians to call for policy solutions that put people first. We aim to inspire informed debate and decision-making, advancing our vision of a fair and inclusive Georgia where everyone can prosper. 

 

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