Viewpoint: Expanding Medicaid in Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Viewpoint: Expanding Medicaid in Georgia

Posted: Updated:
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Local artists auction work to benefit Albany Humane Society

    Local artists auction work to benefit Albany Humane Society

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 4:07 AM EDT2014-09-16 08:07:28 GMT
    Animal lovers can give back to the Albany Humane Society in a very unique way. Local artists will be auctioning off their work to benefit the non-profit organization through Artists for Animals. More >>
    Animal lovers can give back to the Albany Humane Society in a very unique way. Local artists will be auctioning off their work to benefit the non-profit organization through Artists for Animals. 
    More >>
  • Worth County is Camera Ready

    Worth County is Camera Ready

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:50 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:50:56 GMT
    Karen Rackley, Sylvester-Worth County Chamber of Commerce Executive DirectorKaren Rackley, Sylvester-Worth County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director
    Every county in Georgia is now camera ready.Worth County is one of the final 20 counties that just earned the designation meant to show television and movie producers that local communities are able and willing to help them. More >>
    Every county in Georgia is now camera ready.Worth County is one of the final 20 counties that just earned the designation meant to show television and movie producers that local communities are able and willing to help them. More >>
  • Sylvester city departments remain without phone service

    Sylvester city departments remain without phone service

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:50 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:50:33 GMT
    Bill Yearta, Mayor of SylvesterBill Yearta, Mayor of Sylvester
    All city departments in Sylvester remain without phone service. The phone system went down on Monday at Sylvester City Hall and the police, fire, and public works departments.More >>
    All city departments in Sylvester remain without phone service. The phone system went down on Monday at Sylvester City Hall and the police, fire, and public works departments.More >>

 

I'm sure you've heard the saying: this is a no-brainer… we've got a dollar waiting on a dime?

This is the situation we are in with Governor Deal and the state's GOP refusing to accept expanded Medicaid, paid for with federal dollars.

Georgia is home to the fifth largest uninsured population in the country - nearly 2 million Georgians lack health coverage.  Half of all Georgia's working age adults below 138 percent of the poverty level - $15,000 for an individual or $26,000 for a family of three - go without health coverage.

Expanding Medicaid could cover 500,000 Georgians who will otherwise remain uninsured.

"But it is a problem for the hospital because this piece of equipment is over 3 million dollars and this is going have to be replaced in the next two or three years so the question is where is Phoebe Putney going to find the money to buy two or three new machines like this," said 
Dr. Charles Mendenhall. 

Georgia should take advantage of new federal funding to expand Medicaid in 2014 to boost. Georgia's economy and create tens of thousands of new jobs, all while extending health coverage to hundreds of thousands of Georgians.
 
A modest state investment of about 1 percent of the state budget, ($2.1 billion over the next 10 years), to bring in new federal funding will help create more than $65 billion in new economic activity in Georgia over 10 years, which will support more than 56,000 new jobs throughout state.* 
 
Dr. John Menden
 
This new economic activity and subsequent job creation will increase state and local tax collections by more than $2.2 billion over the next 10 years. 

Along with $750 million in state revenue from the insurance premium tax the state has already projected, nearly $3 billion in new revenue will come to Georgia and its cities, counties, and school districts.

We agree with Dr. Mendenhall…it is idiotic to not expand Medicaid in Georgia and on this issue, Republicans appear to be out of touch with reality.