Dems push Medicaid expansion for left-behind rural Georgia
This post has been updated. See below for the latest.
House Democrats are pushing to expand Medicaid in the most impoverished parts of the South that Republicans don’t want to talk about.
The House committee gaveled into session Friday to consider legislation from the Georgia Area Opportunity Commission. The committee gaveled into session Friday to consider legislation from the Georgia Area Opportunity Commission. The idea is to expand Medicaid for more than 1.5 million people in the deep south and rural parts of Georgia that Republicans don’t discuss.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Lucas says it’s a good policy argument to take Medicaid across the aisle despite Republicans’ objections.
“Medicaid expansion would provide critical health coverage to people who need it most, and it was one of the most debated issues during the Affordable Care Act debate in Georgia. We should take this opportunity to debate the issue in a bipartisan manner,” Lucas, R-Fulton, said in a statement.
Rep. Joe McQueen, R-Macon, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, was a little harsher.
“I think it’s a bad idea, it’s not something we should consider going forward,” McQueen, R-Cocoa, said. “I really think it’s a bad idea and I think we should look at a new approach, we’re already discussing this ….”
Republicans say the idea doesn’t fly politically because Democrats in the House would need to attach the Medicaid expansion to a must-pass bill. That makes some Republicans nervous about it’s political downside down the road.
Democrats in the Georgia delegation say that’s not the case.
“We are committed to trying to work with the Republicans, but I think the Republicans should realize that any bill for the whole of the State of Georgia is not going to pass in the General Assembly, but in the House,” Sen. Stacey Abrams says.
One of the bill’s sponsors tells CBS 46, “It’s not about partisanship, it’s what is good for the state, what is good for Georgians and what is good for