Many Georgia residents have been anxiously awaiting an announcement from Gov. Brian Kemp about changes to Medicaid eligibility. Recently, the governor announced a number of changes to Medicaid coverage in the state. The plan will make Medicaid coverage available for about 50,000 state workers according to estimates provided by the Governor's staff.
During his campaign for office, the governor attacked plans that would provide coverage for most of the 408,000 Georgians who live below the federal poverty level, at about $12,000 per year. He claimed that a one-size-fits-all expansion of Medicaid would be too expensive.
Under the plan announced recently, coverage would be extended to persons who spend about 80 hours per month in paying jobs, are enrolled in school or are engaged in specific types of community service. The governor said that the plan will encourage the state's poor to lift themselves out of poverty through education and training. Observers said that the governor's plan will leave about 300,000 Georgians without health care coverage under Medicare.
The limited scope of the governor's plan is opposed by Democrats, who want coverage for all of the 408,000 residents who currently have no health care. Moreover, similar plans that tie work to eligibility put forward in other states have been rejected by federal courts, and many knowledgeable persons believe that the new plan will meet a similar fate. Critics of the plan say it has reversed important priorities. People need healthcare so that they are physically able to work, not the other way around.
Anyone with questions about the effect of the new plan may wish to consult an attorney who is knowledgeable about Medicaid and other government programs.