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Important News from Around Georgia

Senate Health Care Bill on a Fast Track; Make those Calls

The news coming out of Washington, D.C., and the Senate, in particular, is dire concerning the health care for millions of Americans. The Senate Republicans are shrouding their bill in secrecy befitting the nuclear codes, not a bill that will affect millions. A vote could come as soon as next week. 

And, time is running out to fight this. We need to be making calls, being respectful and earnest but not threatening, to demand a public hearing and let it be known that we are concerned about how Medicaid cuts will affect the most vulnerable Georgians, including the disabled and children.

So, our friends at Protect Our Care Georgia, formerly Cover Georgia, put together some data points regarding the importance of Medicaid and what the proposed changes to it would do:

Medicaid in Georgia

  •  2 million Georgians rely on Medicaid, and 1.3 million (67%) of those are children.
  • Medicaid is the biggest source of federal funding coming into our state, at [NUMBER] dollars. Federal Medicaid funds make up 17% of Georgia’s budget, making any loss of funding a guaranteed crisis for our state and its residents.
  •  Medicaid gives people with disabilities the opportunity to live, work, play, and worship in their communities, rather than in institutions.
  • Medicaid allows older Georgians to age in place rather than moving to expensive nursing home care.

Medicaid enrollees in Georgia

  • 1.9 million total
    • 1.1 million children
    • 315,000 people with disabilities
    • 300,000 adults (low-income parents, pregnant women, women with breast/cervical cancer)
    • 182,000 seniors

Proposed changes to Medicaid

  • The Senate continues to discuss proposals that would slash our state’s federal Medicaid funding, blow a hole in our state budget and leave us to foot the bill.
  • The American Health Care Act proposes to shift the Medicaid program from a federal-state partnership to a capped program with far less funding. The Congressional Budget Office analysis exposes as wishful thinking any governor’s assumption that additional “flexibility” would help them weather the AHCA’s cuts to Medicaid. Capping Medicaid funding through a ‘cap’ creates a dial that Congress and the administration could use to ratchet down any time they want additional savings from Medicaid to fund other priorities.
  • The current proposal would cut at least $4 billion from Georgia’s Medicaid program.
  • Georgia already has a very slim Medicaid program; our per capita spending is the 2nd lowest in the country.
  • Cuts to Medicaid funding would force Georgia to raise taxes, lower payments to doctors and take away health coverage from children, older adults and people with disabilities.
  • Cuts to our Medicaid funding would put even greater pressure on our state budget and make it difficult to fund other important priorities such as education, transportation and efforts to address the opioid epidemic.
  • If Congress makes steep cuts to Medicaid and makes radical changes to this critical program, our state would be forced to use our tax dollars to make up the difference. We’ll be left holding the bag when a crisis hits, like an epidemic or a natural disaster.
  • Cuts to Medicaid aren’t just dangerous for our state’s bottom line. There is no way to cut Medicaid without harming people, including kids with special needs like autism, older adults who rely on nursing care and people with disabilities who need services to live independently.
  • Now that we have the information regarding how the proposed changes in the House AHCA would affect Georgia, what should we do about it.

Call dialing and repeatedly. Now is the time to be the change and use your voices. If you personally won’t be affected, the changes are someone you know and hold dear will be. So for the sake if your 101-year-old grandmother, make the calls. If you don’t have an 101-year-old grandmother, then call for the sake of mine and those of us with elderly grandparents or disabled parents or children or opium addicted relatives. #159SaveOurHealthCare #159NotoTrumpCare #159SavetheACA

If you need scripts, then check out these calls to action: