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06 January 2014

Albany Herald: ObamaCare Needs to be Fixed Before Georgia Thinks About Expanding Medicaid

The Albany Herald Editorial Board recently weighed in on the new push by Georgia Democrats to expand Medicaid in the Peach State.

What does the southwest Georgia newspaper have to say?

Fix ObamaCare first.

With the [Obama] administration’s estimate that 8.7 million people will be added to Medicaid in the United States this year, it means that federal taxpayers will shoulder much of the initial cost for the 26 states that went along with the Affordable Care Act and expanded their Medicaid coverage. But while the federal government is picking up that tab at first, that federal support will decrease and those states — and their taxpayers — will have to pick up a sizable tab in the not-too-distant future.

Unlike the federal government which can spend itself into a sea of red ink, Georgia is required to balance its budget each year. This study [by the non-partisan National Bureau of Economic Research of Cambridge, Massachusetts] shows that the Medicaid expansion portion of the Affordable Care Act is not functioning as advertised and once the federal support dwindles, money from other state-funded programs would have to be redirected to Medicaid or state taxes and fees would have to go up to cover the significant additional cost.

The Affordable Care Act is flawed and first needs to be fixed by the federal lawmakers and the administration who created it before Georgia considers any Medicaid expansion.

The Albany Herald Editorial Board (3 January 2014). Study finds Medicaid expansion increases emergency room costs. Albany Herald. Retrieved on 6 January 2014.

Three days ago, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D - Atlanta) promised "a concerted effort" to expand Medicaid in Georgia [Malloy, Daniel (3 January 2014). Stacey Abrams vows 'concerted effort' to push Nathan Deal on Medicaid. Political Insider with Jim Galloway. Retrieved on 6 January 2014.]. Abrams, however, did not indicate how she would pay for the Medicaid expansion once the federal government stiffs Georgia with the tab.