Med­i­caid ex­pan­sion would be good for poor — and Ge­or­gia

Walker County Messenger - - Front Page - By Laura Col­bert

In the health care de­bates of re­cent months, we have seen peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, fam­i­lies of chil­dren with chronic con­di­tions, se­niors, peo­ple in re­cov­ery from opi­oid ad­dic­tion, and oth­ers stand to­gether to ad­vo­cate against con­gres­sional pro­pos­als that would have made un­con­scionable cuts to Med­i­caid and re­pealed ma­jor pro­vi­sions of the Af­ford­able Care Act.

Th­ese ad­vo­cates have thus far been suc­cess­ful be­cause they have re­sisted ef­forts to pit one group against an­other and in­stead per­se­vered with the shared un­der­stand­ing that all Amer­i­cans rise or fall to­gether on the strength of our health sys­tem.

Now that ef­forts to dis­man­tle Med­i­caid and the ACA have hit a wall, our state has the op­por­tu­nity to fol­low this ex­am­ple by work­ing col­lec­tively to strengthen the health sys­tem for ev­ery­one by en­sur­ing all Ge­or­gians have health care cov­er­age.

There are an es­ti­mated 300,000 to 600,000 Ge­or­gians who are stuck in the state’s cov­er­age gap be­cause they do not qual­ify for Med­i­caid and are too poor to buy health in­sur­ance through the ACA’s in­sur­ance ex­change.

Ex­pand­ing our state’s Med­i­caid pro­gram, as 31 other states have done, would mean that th­ese friends and

Laura Col­bert

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