Hospital Closure, Rental Assistance Halted, Disastrous Rollout of “Kemp Cards”
With just five days until Election Day, Georgians are being reminded exactly why we can’t afford another four years with Brian Kemp in the governor’s office. This week alone, one of only two Level I trauma centers in the Atlanta metro closed for good, the state abruptly halted its rental assistance program, and Kemp’s $350 “Kemp card” assistance program has continued facing a disastrous rollout.
RECAP: What Kemp’s failed leadership has put Georgians through this week:
Kemp’s last-minute stunt to send Georgians $350 faces disastrous rollout: Less than two months before Election Day, Kemp announced he was using funds from Democrats’ American Rescue Plan to send $350 to Georgians — the governor said this was needed because of inflation.
Thousands of Georgians are still having trouble accessing and using the funds. Many have reported their identities have been compromised and funds stolen off the cards. Georgians are reporting that many stores, like Dollar Tree and Walmart, won’t accept the “Kemp cards.”
The “Kemp cards” came after the governor cut off pandemic food stamp support, which was providing 770,000 Georgians about $100 in food support every month. Kemp said that due to a strong economy, people didn’t need extra help.
Axios: Inside the messy rollout of Kemp’s $350 payments to Georgians
Atlanta Medical Center (AMC) closed down: The closure of one of only two Level I trauma centers in the Atlanta metro area will cause more patients to seek care at Grady Memorial Hospital, putting a strain on the already-underfunded hospital. Patients who can’t receive treatment there could be forced to travel 85 miles to Macon, where the next-closest Level 1 Trauma Center is located.
AMC marks the sixth hospital to close on Kemp’s watch and comes as he doubles down on his refusal to expand Medicaid, which would provide billions in federal funds to support struggling hospitals, extend health coverage to over 500,000 Georgians, and lower the cost of care for everyone, even those with private health insurance.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Atlanta Medical Center closure brings higher costs, risks for Grady
State ceases rental assistance program without warning: Yesterday, a new report revealed the state abruptly shut down applications for its rental assistance program, “leaving a number of tenants in the lurch.” The news comes after Kemp dragged his feet on distributing rental assistance during the height of the pandemic.
Even though the state received federal funds in 2020 to help Georgians keep a roof over their heads during the pandemic, the state waited nearly a year, until February 2021, to set up a rental assistance program “despite having higher than average historic eviction rates.” As of June 2022, 31,000 tenants out of 114,000+ applications received support. Reporting suggests that the slow speed of Georgia’s rental assistance program led to tenants getting evicted.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: State abruptly halts applications for rental assistance