PRESS RELEASE: The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute Receives Research Grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
ATLANTA, GEORGIA — Today, the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute (GBPI) announced a strategic grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, enabling the organization to monitor and assess the impact of Georgia’s Pathways to Coverage program, which came into effect on July 1, 2023. Pathways to Coverage represents a limited form of Medicaid expansion that subjects enrollees to a work (or other qualifying activity) requirement and burdensome monthly reporting, making Georgia the sole state in the nation to impose work requirements for individuals seeking Medicaid coverage.
Statement From GBPI President and CEO Staci Fox:
“With this support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, GBPI is better equipped to evaluate the implementation of the Pathways to Coverage program and monitor the impact of work requirements that previous studies have shown only serve to create barriers to health care. GBPI analysis indicates that the state has not allocated sufficient funding to cover the number of Georgians initially estimated by the Governor to qualify under Pathways. The project findings will inform the vital discussion around expanding access to high-quality, affordable health care and insurance—both in our state and across the nation.”
This initiative will be spearheaded by Leah Chan, GBPI’s Director of Health Justice, who will collaborate with researchers and community-based partners to conduct data collection, storytelling and stakeholder education that centers the perspectives and experiences of Georgians who already face persistent and systemic barriers to good health. This partial Medicaid expansion has the potential to expand health care access to some uninsured Georgians, but it falls short of what is needed to fully close the coverage gap. In his January 2023 State of the State address, Governor Brian Kemp projected that up to 345,000 Georgians could qualify for the Pathways program. However, the state’s budget allocation for Pathways in FY 2024 will only allow about 47,500 enrollments. In its first month, the program approved just 265 enrollees.
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.