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MILLIONS MORE AMERICANS SET TO GAIN HEALTH COVERAGE THROUGH MEDICAID EXPANSION

By   /   December 11, 2013  /   Comments

CONGRESSMAN BISHOP URGES GEORGIA TO EXPAND MEDICAID SO THAT 478,000 MORE GEORGIANS CAN GAIN HEALTH COVERAGE

ALBANY, GA – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) highlighted recent data that shows that there would be 478,000 fewer uninsured Georgians by 2016 if Georgia takes advantage of the Medicaid expansion opportunity provided under the Affordable Care Act.

Due to provisions within the health care law, states are given the option to expand their Medicaid coverage to all adults with incomes below 133% of the national poverty level (around $32,000 for a family of four). If Georgia accepts the Medicaid funding, the state can receive 100% of federal funding to cover costs for the first three years and no less than 90% federal support for those costs in subsequent years. So far, Georgia has opted not to participate.

“Expanding Medicaid is a smart choice for Georgia,” said Congressman Bishop. “It would mean almost half a million fewer uninsured Georgians, greater access to the services and support folks need to stay healthy, and a net savings for the state budget and for consumers.”

A recent report by the Commonwealth Fund finds that by not expanding Medicaid, Georgia will forgo $4.9 billion in federal funding in 2022. Accounting for factors that reduce costs, the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that states as a whole are likely to see net savings from expanding Medicaid. Combining Medicaid costs with a conservative estimate of $18 billion in state and local non-Medicaid savings on uncompensated care, the Medicaid expansion would save states a total of $10 billion over 2013-2022.

“Time is running out,” concluded Bishop. “I urge Georgia to reconsider its decision not to expand Medicaid coverage for our state and accept the federal benefits ready to assist the most vulnerable and at-risk Georgians.”

So far, 26 States and the District of Columbia have accepted this Medicaid expansion opportunity, giving millions of Americans access to affordable health care. In fact, thanks to these states and the opening of the new Health Insurance Marketplaces, six in ten currently uninsured Americans will have access to health coverage for $100 per month or less next year. That number will rise to eight in ten if states that have previously decided not to expand Medicaid coverage – including Georgia – choose to accept the option to extend coverage to the most vulnerable within their state.

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