GBPI Director of Health Policy Timothy Sweeney releases the following statement in response to the election and moving Medicaid expansion.
With the election decided, it is now clear that the nation’s health reform law – the Affordable Care Act – is here to stay. That’s great news for Georgians who have already begun to benefit from the law and will see more gains as major provisions of the law take effect in 2014.
To reap the law’s biggest gains and bring affordable health insurance to as many as 650,000 Georgians, our policymakers must now move forward quickly to get ready for 2014 to ensure that Georgians do not get left behind as other states move to take advantage of new coverage options.
Our governor and legislators should prepare to expand Medicaid in 2014 to help thousands of working parents and other adults here in Georgia get the quality health care they need.
Expanding Medicaid is a great deal for Georgia and will help the state address its chronically high uninsured rate. The federal government will pick up the vast majority of the cost of covering hundreds of thousands of Georgians who currently go without coverage. Expanding coverage will be good for hospitals and doctors who are already serving Georgians who don’t have insurance and will enable patients to get care in more efficient settings instead of turning to Emergency Rooms. The new federal funding will also be good for Georgia’s economy and will help the state improve its health care system and increase its capacity to serve more Georgians.
Failing to expand Medicaid would leave as many as 650,000 struggling Georgians out in the cold and would ensure that Georgians without health insurance coverage have few options to receive needed health care services. Furthermore, failing to expand Medicaid would squander the opportunity to pump hundreds of millions of dollars into our state economy. And, it would ensure that hospitals and other health care providers continue to shoulder the burden of the high cost of providing health care to people without insurance.
Timothy Sweeney is available for comments and interviews. Media coverage is invited.
404.420.1324 ext. 109
About the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute
GBPI is the state’s leading independent, nonpartisan nonprofit engaged in research and education about the fiscal and economic health of the state of Georgia. GBPI provides reliable, timely analysis of Georgia’s budget and tax policies, and promotes greater state government fiscal accountability, improved services and an enhanced quality of life for all Georgians.