Community members voiced their concerns. (Source: WALB)Community members voiced their concerns. (Source: WALB)
Members also asked questions about Medicaid as they stand now. (Source: WALB)Members also asked questions about Medicaid as they stand now. (Source: WALB)
State representatives answered questions people had. (Source: WALB)State representatives answered questions people had. (Source: WALB)


Hundreds of thousands of people in Georgia cannot afford health insurance, but also don’t qualify for Medicaid. That’s according to Georgia lawmakers who want to change that. 

Tuesday night dozens of community members voiced their concerns about the current state of Medicaid in Georgia. 

“About 1.2 million residents don’t have any health insurance,” said Laura Harker, a policy analyst with the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute (GBPI).

That’s why the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute hosted a panel for people in Albany and state lawmakers to discuss possible Medicaid Expansion in Georgia.

 “Hundreds of thousands of people who are without healthcare, so about two-million to be exact, but at least a quarter of those would be covered if the state would accept medicaid expansion,” said District 154 Representative Winfred Dukes.  

Those with the GBPI say many people in Georgia make too little to get financial help to buy health insurance, but they don’t qualify for Medicaid right now.

The institute wants to work with lawmakers to increase Medicaid funding to change that.

“We need to talk a little more about our Medicaid program in Georgia and how we can improve on that program to get health coverage and health cards in the pockets of more Georgians,” said Harker.

Panel organizers hope to take the feedback from Tuesday’s meeting to state legislators.

“You look at the numbers, but you need people’s stories and experiences to really understand what’s going on in the state,” Harker said.

The Georgia General Assembly would have to vote to approve the Medicaid Expansion next spring. Then the Governor would have to sign it into law.

Copyright 2018 WALB. All rights reserved.

Go to Source

State representatives push for Medicaid expansion