Deal doesn't want Georgians "punished" under Trump health care l - CBS46 News

Deal doesn't want Georgians "punished" under Trump health care law

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Gov. Nathan Deal says he doesn't want Georgia and other states that didn't expand Medicaid coverage to be "punished" under proposed changes to federal health care law.

Deal, a Republican, said Wednesday that he's not certain that would happen under the proposal backed by congressional Republicans and the Donald Trump administration. But he wants states like Georgia to be considered.

In 2013, after the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare was passed, Deal said he had no intention of expanding Medicaid under President Barack Obama's plan saying the state didn't have the money for the expansion.

In Georgia about 1.8 million people are enrolled in Medicaid, and the state spent about $8.5 billion on the program in 2012.

Initially, the 2010 law required that states cover anyone in households earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. That would add about 620,000 people in Georgia. But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that expansion must be optional.

Deal opted out.

"Trumpcare" cuts Medicaid

The House Bill that could become the law of the land, the American Health Care Act or (AHCA) makes huge cuts to the government health insurance program which covers low-income Americans.

Medicaid is financed jointly by the federal government and the states. In Georgia's case, the federal government pays 66 percent of the cost and the state makes up the difference. The state spent about 21.5 percent of the budget in 2012 on the program.

Should the plan President Donald Trump is backing become law, it would reduce federal spending on the program by $880 billion by 2026 nationwide. The Congressional Budget Office review of the bill says that would leave 14 million patients without coverage.

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