The Governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp (R), has announced a plan for the expansion of Medicaid in his state. He calls the plan “Pathways to Coverage,” and it lets employed low-income individuals in Georgia qualify for Medicaid if they make no more than the federally defined poverty level and if they satisfy a work requirement. The work requirement entails 80 hours of “qualifying activities” per month.
The Trump administration has denied Georgia’s request to contribute to the funding of the Medicaid expansion, so it will have to proceed on the basis of the taxes of Georgians.
Under ObamaCare, the US pays for 90% of the costs of Medicaid expansion for states that accept the other 10% of the burden, extending Medicaid to all persons below the poverty line without ancillary requirements or other limiting measures. Georgia asked to receive the same level of federal funding even though it was adding the work requirement, which will cause it to fall far short of the full coverage the Obamacare provision called for.
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Roughly 13% of Georgians now live without health insurance. This is the third highest percentage of any state in the union (behind Texas and Oklahoma). Kemp is responding to pressure to bring that number down.