Is 2024 the year Georgia will expand Medicaid to insure all its poor?
Ever since the 2010 Affordable Care Act offered heavy subsidies to each state that expands Medicaid for the uninsured poor, Georgia’s Republican majority leadership has answered with a resounding “no.” They viewed the offer as classic government overreach by Democrats, expensive and risky.
Much has changed over the years, including widespread acceptance that the ACA is here to stay, and polls show strong support for Medicaid expansion among Georgia voters, even Republicans. Perhaps the most important new development was that Kemp’s signature alternative to Medicaid expansion finally launched July 1, and its results so far have been weak.
Out of perhaps 370,000 Georgians that the Kemp administration thinks could sign up, only 2,344 had done so as of Dec. 15, according to data released by the Georgia Department of Community Health.
“Something has definitely changed in the last several months, especially,” said Danny Kanso, a former Republican lieutenant governor’s aide who is now director of legislative strategy and a senior fiscal analyst at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank that favors Medicaid expansion.
“As somebody who’s been observing this issue in recent years, I do think this session stands out uniquely, as a real opportunity for consensus,” Kanso said.