Release: Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Democratic Party of Georgia Calls on Georgia Republicans to Present Health Care Plan
Chairman DuBose Porter says there is no good reason to obstruct Medicaid expansion
Atlanta, GA – Today, the Democratic Party of Georgia called on Georgia Republicans to explain their refusal to expand Medicaid. Georgia Democrats also asked the Georgia GOP to present their own solutions for our state’s health care problems.
Although six out of ten Georgians support the move, Gov. Nathan Deal and the Republican-led State Legislature refuse to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Medicaid expansion would broaden access to quality, affordable health care to approximately 650,000 Georgians.
“There is no good reason to obstruct Medicaid expansion. Not a one,” said Democratic Party of Georgia Chair DuBose Porter. “The only thing standing in the way of hundreds of thousands of Georgians getting the health coverage they need is the extreme partisan agenda of the Georgia Republican Party.”
While Georgia Republicans have stonewalled meaningful health care reform, Democrats have introduced legislation that would fund Medicaid expansion and broaden health care access to all Georgians. SB 295, sponsored by Sen. Lester Jackson, would provide expansion funding for two years. SB 308, sponsored by Sen. Vincent Fort, would provide continual funding provided the federal government cover 100% of the costs the first two years and 90% of the costs for subsequent years.
Medicaid expansion is a smart choice for Georgia. Expansion would not only greatly reduce the number of uninsured Georgians, it would help our state save in uncompensated care costs. Last week, the Augusta Chronicle reported that just in the Augusta area, Medicaid expansion would add 3,000 jobs and infuse $300 million in to the local economy.
“If Medicaid expansion isn’t the answer, what is,” said Chairman Porter. “I’ve yet to hear an answer to that question. Georgia Republicans have offered no solutions of their own. They have no solutions to cover Georgians who fall through the coverage gap or to curb skyrocketing health care costs.”
To date, Georgia Republicans have proposed very little to address Georgia’s health care needs. What they have done instead is remain committed to their dead-end dismantle and sabotage strategy. Earlier this year, House Republicans introduced HB 707, a bill that would block state agencies from implementing any provision of the ACA. HB 707’s sponsor, Rep. Jason Spencer, days later compared hospitals to “addicts on crack.”
In the past few months, three hospitals in rural Georgia have closed their doors due in part to financial pressures. While Georgia Democrats have repeatedly reminded Gov. Deal and Republicans that Medicaid expansion would help assist hospitals in covering the funding gap, Republicans have said “there are some of those rural hospitals that need to close.”
“Eventually, the GOP will be held accountable to offer real solutions to the problems that face Georgia,” said Chairman Porter. “Until that day comes, it’s obvious that Republicans are content with being ‘The Party of No.’”
AJC 1/13/14: Nearly 6 in 10 in Georgia favor Medicaid expansion
Augusta Chronicle 1/21/14: Analysis sees 3,000 jobs in Augusta area from Medicaid expansion
Georgia Health News 1/16/2013: Legislators share thoughts on Medicaid expansion
Democratic Party of Ga 12/19/13: The Cost of Repeal in Georgia