“They need to send that money where it’s really needed, like permanent shelter for homeless people, and providing Medicaid for the uninsured... I wish they would use that surplus on the realities that people are actually struggling with.”-Debra Saunders
And, although Coweta is more affluent than most counties in Georgia and the nation, the local need is greater and more diverse than most residents of Coweta realize. In Coweta, it may surprise you to know that most of the poverty is in the white community (https://datausa.io/profile/geo/coweta-county-puma-ga ). Using 2020 census data, this source indicates that 11% of white men and 16% of white women in the county were in poverty.
Per this same source, 10% of the population of Coweta is on Medicaid. But 10% has no insurance at all, caused to some extent by the political refusal of our Governor and legislature to expand Medicaid under the ACA, even though the Feds pay 90% of the bill.
Still, the ACA (Obamacare) has been a tremendous success throughout the nation and here in Coweta County. Low-income Americans have gotten healthcare via the marketplace and Medicaid expansion. In fact, there are now a record 16.3 million people nationwide who have gotten ACA coverage marketplace. That represent a 13% increase, remarkable for a program that is more than a decade old.
Further, despite what our Governor misleadingly says, the facts show that Georgia is towards the bottom of the states when it comes to healthcare. In large part, that is due to his inexcusable failure to propose full Medicaid expansion to the legislature.
There are a multitude of organizations that rank state healthcare status/systems according to varying criteria. For example, we rank-
And please do not be fooled by Kemp’s politically motivated Medicaid “waiver” which requires that Medicaid recipients work. Kemp indicates that it will add 50,000 to Medicaid. But more than 10 times that number would be added if we simply expanded Medicaid as did 39 other states, including many controlled by the GOP.
Isn’t it time for Governor Kemp to stop playing politics and wasting our money? And letting our federal tax money be used to expand Medicaid in NY and California? Governor, just ask the General Assembly to approve full Medicaid expansion and take the 90% Federal contribution to do so.
Jack Bernard was the first Director of Health Planning for the State of Georgia and then served as an executive with several healthcare firms. Jack is a local activist, previously serving on the Jasper County Board of Commissioners and Board of Health. He's now Chair of the Fayette County Board of Health.