Despite the 650,000 Georgians who desperately need the Medicaid provisions set forth in the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), the state of Georgia has reported that it will not expand its Medicaid program under the ACA.

 

(Related: Obama Speaks at Rose Garden After 7 Million Mark Reached For Healthcare Signup)

 

According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the Governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal (R), has refused to expand the healthcare program because of financial reasons.  The federal government has agreed to pay states who expand 100 percent for the first year and 90 percent for succeeding years; yet, Deal believes that the state of Georgia does not have the money to afford such an action.

 

This denial of Medicaid expansion means that a number of Georgians will forgo health insurance because they can not afford a plan through the Healthcare.gov Marketplace. Fortunately for them though, they will not be penalized for not having insurance after Open Enrollment.

 

(Related- Living Healthy in an 8-5 World: President Obama Talks Affordable Care Act)

 

Gov. Deal’s decision on Medicaid expansion under ACA, may not only affect the constituents of Georgia; it could possibly affect Deal’s chances of re-election if he decides to run. The governor’s decision has received some strict criticism from concerned voters.

 

One side of the argument suggests that Governor Deal is turning down a potential opportunity to gain additional revenue. According to a recent NBC News article, Georgia will possibly be missing out on a whopping $4.9 billion. This amount of money is more than what states receive in federal funding for highways, infrastructure, etc.

 

Another side of the argument states that Deal is placing many lives in jeopardy. Individuals who are unable to afford healthcare and can not receive Medicaid, may be more likely to suffer from higher morbidity and, maybe even, mortality rates. Waiting rooms at the local health departments will also be affected as they will become overcrowded with people looking for low-cost or free health services.

 

What do you think about Ga’s decision? Do you believe it is wise? How do you feel about the 650,000 people that will continue to go without health coverage? Let’s talk @DeShonna_Aliyah