On March 25, 2019, the Georgia State House passed a bill paving the way for a limited Medicaid expansion. The Senate Bill 106 passed the Georgia House by a 104-67 vote, sending the bill to Governor Brian Kemp for his signature. The support for this bill came mostly from Republicans, with only six Democrats voting for it. This legislation has two parts to it. First, one waiver involves adding individuals to the Medicaid rolls. The second part allows Georgia to reorganize the state’s health insurance exchange, created by the Affordable Care Act for those without coverage from their employers or government program.
Many Democrats argued that a complete expansion of Medicaid is necessary to cover hundreds of thousands of Georgians and to help rural hospitals. Rep. David Dreyer (D-Atlanta) argued that this legislation, as opposed to full Medicaid expansion, would “cover 200,000 less people, and we would likely be paying more.” However, Rep. Butch Parrish (R-Swainsboro) argued that this bill is “a step in the right direction that will improve health care and access in this state.” This limited expansion of Medicaid will likely help some individuals in Georgia with disabilities. It will be important to watch in the coming weeks and months the impact of this legislation.
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