Lawmakers Move To Restrict Georgia Medicaid Expansion

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News Release: Associated Press News
Updated: March 18, 2014, 9:30pm

ATLANTA (AP) -- Any expansion of the government-funded Medicaid system in Georgia would have to get the OK of state legislators, under a bill approved Tuesday.

The state Senate voted 35-19 to approve a bill that would restrict the executive branch from loosening the income eligibility rules so more low-income people could join the health insurance system unless the General Assembly first approves the change.

The Legislature is dominated by Republicans, making it unlikely they will buy into a signature policy from Democratic President Barack Obama. The Obama administration intended for states to let people into the Medicaid program if those people were too poor to afford subsidized health insurance plans.

The bill now heads to Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, who previously said he supports it.

News Release: Associated Press News
Updated: March 3, 2014, 8pm

ATLANTA (AP) -- Republican state lawmakers want to make it impossible for Georgia to expand the Medicaid system as proposed by the Democratic president unless the state Legislature approves it.

The bill adopted 118-57 on Monday by House lawmakers would block the state from changing the income eligibility rules governing the Medicaid system unless the General Assembly backs it.

Medicaid pays for health care for the poor, elderly, disabled and low-income families with children. It's funded by the state and federal governments.

The health care overhaul proposed by President Barack Obama anticipated that states would allow people too poor to afford subsidized insurance to enroll in Medicaid.

But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not be forced to expand Medicaid. Republican Gov. Nathan Deal says expanding Medicaid would be too expensive.

News Release: Associated Press News

ATLANTA (AP) -- A legislative committee has signed off on a bill that would essentially negate Gov. Nathan Deal's ability to expand Medicaid under the federal health care law, something the Republican governor has already refused to do.

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday passed the bill which has the backing of top Republican leaders as well as Deal. Supporters argue the bill gives appropriate legislative authority for a policy decision that would have a significant economic effect on the state budget.

Democrats have opposed the bill, arguing it delays the decision to expand Medicaid in the state.

The bill is expected to come up for a floor vote in the House in the next week.

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