Georgia mulls Medicaid expansion

Georgia Republican lawmakers heard testimony on possible Medicaid expansion for the first time in a decade, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Nov. 17. 

The discussion occurred in the Study Committee on Certificate of Need Modernization, but every speaker touched on Medicaid expansion, according to the report.  

Among those who spoke at the meeting was a North Carolina lobbyist who spoke about the deal lawmakers struck in that state to pass expansion in exchange for reducing certificate-of-need rules. North Carolina's expansion program will start Dec. 1.  

The committee also heard from three people involved in Arkansas' Medicaid expansion program, according to the report. One of the speakers said the state's uninsured rate plummeted following expansion. 

Georgia began a limited Medicaid expansion program in July dubbed "Pathways to Coverage." Under that program, enrollees earning less than $14,580 annually — with some exceptions — must complete 80 hours of work, job training, education or community service per month to receive coverage. The program is off to a slow start, with only 1,343 people enrolling in the program as of Oct. 13. The state planned for about 100,000 people to enroll in the first year of the program and as many as 370,000 could be eligible.  

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