FACT SHEET: Ahead of Anniversary of Medicaid, Case for Expansion in Georgia Clearer Than Ever

July 26, 2021

Republican Inaction Preventing 646,000 Georgians From Gaining Health Coverage Through Medicaid

On Friday, July 30, the one in five Georgians who rely on Medicaid will celebrate the 56th anniversary of the landmark program, which provides health coverage to low-income adults and children. But Georgia Republicans’ continued refusal to expand Medicaid has left an additional 646,000 additional Georgians who stand to benefit from the program without access to quality, affordable health care. 

Medicaid expansion is more popular than ever, with Georgians supporting it by 28 percentage points. It is also fiscally sound – if Georgia were to expand Medicaid now, the state would receive enough federal funds to cover the the cost of Medicaid expansion and then some. 

Amid Georgia Republicans’ refusal to do the right thing, Democrats in Congress — led by Senators Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock and Representatives Carolyn Bourdeaux, Lucy McBath, and Nikema Williams — have introduced legislation to create a federal pathway for Medicaid expansion that bypasses Kemp’s inaction.

“While Georgia Republicans drag their feet, health care coverage for more than 600,000 Georgians hangs in the balance,” said Rebecca Galanti, spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “We could cover hundreds of thousands of Georgians at no cost to the state by expanding Medicaid, but Brian Kemp and Georgia Republicans are clearly more interested in political grandstanding than governing. Republicans’ stubborn refusal to expand Medicaid is morally and fiscally indefensible, and it is putting vulnerable Georgians at even greater risk during a once-in-a-generation pandemic. Come 2022, voters will remember that while Republicans put politics ahead of Georgians’ health and wellbeing, Democrats fought to give every Georgian access to high-quality, affordable health care.”

FAST FACTS: Medicaid Expansion Would Cover More Georgians

  • 646,000 Georgians stand to gain health coverage under Medicaid expansion. If Georgia were to expand Medicaid, 646,000 Georgia adults and children could gain Medicaid coverage.
  • 269,000 Georgians remain uninsured because of Georgia’s failure to expand Medicaid.  269,000 Georgians fall into the Medicaid coverage gap, meaning they are not eligible for Medicaid and make too little to qualify for tax credits in the Affordable Care Act marketplace. These Georgians have no realistic option for health insurance.
  • 58% of Georgians who stand to gain coverage under Medicaid expansion are people of color. Georgians who fall into the Medicaid coverage gap are disproportionately people of color, making up 58% of the coverage gap. 47% are Black and 9% are Latinx, while 42% are white.
  • Georgia has one of the country’s worst uninsured rates without Medicaid expansion. 1.4 million Georgians do not have health insurance, and Georgia’s uninsured rate of 13.7 percent is third highest in the country.
  • 155,000 uninsured Georgia women stand to gain coverage under Medicaid expansion. Expanding Medicaid in Georgia would extend health coverage to 155,00 Georgia women in the Medicaid coverage gap. Georgia ranks among the bottom five states for women’s health insurance coverage.
  • Half of Georgia’s uninsured veterans stand to gain coverage under Medicaid expansion. Expanding Medicaid in Georgia would extend coverage to 32,000 veterans and military spouses who do not have health insurance.

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