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Medicaid Expansion


Georgia’s Medicaid program today is the most restrictive in the country, as measured by spending per Medicaid enrollee. Georgia is not utilizing this expansion and the federal dollars that would cover 500,000 Georgians who are in the current coverage gap - too little income to afford private insurance or qualify for subsidies but too much income to qualify for Medicaid under current rules. Expanding the program would most greatly benefit rural counties and people aged 18-39, including 32,000 veterans and members of military families who have returned home after serving our country. Rural hospitals would be revived instead of forced to shut down as 4 already have in Georgia due to rising costs of uncompensated care.


In addition to providing insurance to lower income families, expanding Medicaid would help boost Georgia’s overall economy - for every $1 that Georgia invests in the program, there is expected to be a $24 return to the economy from reduction in uncompensated care costs and community health center spending. For the first three years, Georgia would receive this economic boost without having to contribute any state dollars. After accepting a Medicaid expansion program, Arkansas closed the coverage gap and saw a 56% reduction in uncompensated care in the first 6 months; Kentucky saw a 60% reduction in same over a one-year period. Also in Kentucky, the stated made a total of $109 million in savings and revenue increases due to Medicaid expansion in one and a half years.


Medicaid is actually an extremely efficient healthcare solution - 94% of dollars allocated to Medicaid are spent directly on health services and costs are rising at ¼ the rate of private insurance. Lastly, federal dollars have historically proven to be a reliable funding source through any potential depressions or crises. If the federal government does ever fail to pay its share of the costs, Georgia can discontinue the expansion at no cost.

Committee to Elect Michael Smith
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