Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:25 AM
groundloop (3,021 posts)
Nathan Deal is in a lonely spot.
This is an email from Better Georgia asking people to sign a petition asking Gov. Deal to implement the Medicaid expansion provision of the Affordable Care Act. (If you don't want to read the entire email here's a link to the petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/governor-deal-medicaid-expansion-is-a-good-deal-for-georgia )
Gov. Nathan Deal is in a lonely spot.
As a conservative Republican governor, he made a partisan agreement with his fellow governors to oppose Obamacare and fight against the ďevilsĒ of providing access to health care for Georgiaís poorest residents.
But those other conservative governors have abandoned Gov. Deal.
Conservative governors like Arizona's Jan Brewer know that it makes financial sense to expand Medicaid to provide insurance for their stateís poorest families.
Yesterday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott became the seventh Republican governor to support the Affordable Care Actís expansion of Medicaid.
Here's a quote from Florida's governor that Gov. Deal should start re-writing:
ďTo be clear: our options are either having Floridians pay to fund this program in other states while denying health care to our citizens or using federal funding to help some of the poorest in our state with the Medicaid program as we explore other health care reforms.Ē
We won't tell anyone if Gov. Deal decides to strike "Floridians" from that sentence and replace it with "Georgians."
But Gov. Deal isnít ready to write that speech yet.
When the news from Florida was announced, the governorís office rushed out this statement instead:
"Governor Scott's decision in no way makes $4.5 billion magically appear in our treasury.Ē
Itís not magic, Gov. Deal.
Itís called leadership.
Or call it doing the right thing.
Maybe itís simply called math. After all, Georgia would earn more than $30 billion in new federal funds over the next 10 years, if we would expand Medicaid.
Expanding Medicaid will increase access to health care and make it easier for Georgia to invest in hospitals and other parts of our health care system.
Over the next 10 years, Georgiaís modest state investment would be less than a 2 percent bump in total state spending. That investment would return at least $9 in federal funding for each $1 spent by the state.
Gov. Deal's stubborn, partisan refusal to expand Medicaid will keep more than 600,000 Georgians uninsured.
His stubborn, partisan refusal has already led to one rural hospital closing in Arlington.
But this political game will not help the governor's plunging approval rating, which has dipped to 38 percent.
Gov. Dealís lack of leadership is hurting his own political future. More importantly, his lack of leadership is hurting hundreds of thousands of Georgia residents and costing the state billions of dollars.
It's past time to enact the Affordable Care Act in Georgia. Sign Cover Georgia's petition now. http://www.change.org/petitions/governor-deal-medicaid-expansion-is-a-good-deal-for-georgia
P.S. Cover Georgia is a coalition of consumer and patient advocates along with industry advocates who know Georgia can't afford to say no to Medicaid expansion.
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Nathan Deal is in a lonely spot. (Original post)
|We People||Feb 2013||#1|