Georgia's Peach Care Health Insurance in Cash Crunch

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Georgia's popular Peach Care health insurance program could end in less than 90 days unless Congress soon rides to the rescue.

The program covers the children of some 260,000 low income families.

Georgia is facing a $131 million dollar shortfall in federal funds for the program this year, one of 17 states facing a cash crunch from Capitol Hill.

State officials say they may be forced to send out letters in February to all enrolled families telling them their children's health insurance coverage will end in March.

Congress passed a temporary fix just before departing for the holidays, shifting some funds from states with surplus federal child health insurance dollars to others, like Georgia, that have a shortfall.

But Georgia will receive just $1.2 million dollars in additional funds.

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, from Georgia, said when Congress reconvenes he will push to restore funding to keep Peach Care afloat. But he also said Georgia needs to look at its eligibility guidelines, which may need to be tightened to remove thousands a the higher end of the income ladder.

Georgia is one of just a handful of states in which families with incomes more than twice the federal poverty level are eligible for the child health insurance program.