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Protect Our Care Georgia

The proposed health reforms currently being considered by Congress would bring significant changes to our health system, threatening health coverage for millions of Americans and the progress we have made in the last half-century with the enactment of Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. Medicaid is a public health program that for 50 years has provided qualify, affordable care to the most vulnerable Americans—mostly children, seniors, and people with disabilities. The ACA is a landmark piece of legislation that resulted in the lowest uninsured rate ever recorded, established rights and protections for health care consumers, and provided opportunities to advance health equity.

Protect Our Care Georgia is a broad coalition of community stakeholders and advocates from all across our state. We have launched a shared campaign to ensure that all Georgians get and keep the health coverage and care they need. We want to strengthen, not cut, our state’s Medicaid program. We want to build on, not repeal, the Affordable Care Act. Health care is critically important to the health of Georgia’s families, communities, and economy. We believe we should work together to make our health system work better for everyone, not rush changes through that would harm Georgians.

The Protect Our Care Georgia campaign is fighting for quality, affordable coverage for all Georgians and we need your help.

We need your help! You can:

What You Need to Know

The federal health care proposal currently under consideration by Congress would dismantle Medicaid and repeal the Affordable Care Act.

This is what that means for Georgia:
(Click each item below to read and learn more.)

Medicaid provides critical health coverage to almost 2 million Georgians

  • Over 92 percent of Georgia Medicaid enrollees are children, seniors, and people with disabilities. About 1.3 million Georgia children from low to moderate income families receive services they need to grow up healthy because of Medicaid and PeachCare. PeachCare is Georgia’s name for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a federal program that helps the state cover more children with household incomes above Medicaid requirements.

  • Medicaid also covers low-income people with disabilities and provides additional coverage for low-income seniors enrolled in Medicare. People with disabilities can get the support they need for critical services such as durable medical equipment and home health services. Low-income seniors who could not afford prescription drugs or long-term care receive assistance in covering those costs through Medicaid.

Medicaid strengthens the state’s hospitals and providers as a major payer for health services in Georgia

  • Medicaid is the primary payer for 75 percent of Georgia’s nursing home patients and pays for more than half of all births in Georgia. As a major source of payment for health services, Medicaid helps a financially-strapped health care system avoid even more dire straits. Medicaid is especially important for rural and safety net hospitals that serve disproportionately more vulnerable patients and rely on Medicaid for a larger percentage of their revenue.

Medicaid delivers care efficiently with lower administrative costs and lower spending growth

  • Medicaid provides access to health care for some of the most vulnerable Georgians with more dollars spend directly on health services than private insurers. For every dollar spend on Medicaid, only 6 cents is spent on administrative costs. Private insurers are allowed to spend up to 20 cents per dollar on administrative overhead.  Since 2007, Medicaid spending has grown more slowly than private insurance at about one-fourth the rate of private insurance.

Medicaid funding is critical to the state’s budget and brings in additional federal dollars

  • For every dollar Georgia invests in Medicaid, the federal government matches with $2.11. The fiscal year 2018 budget starting on July 1, 2017 and ending on June 30, 2017 includes over $6 billion in federal money from Medicaid. Any cut to this funding would squeeze the state’s budget. This would require increasing taxes to raise new revenue or pulling resources away from other essential areas such as education, public safety, and transportation. Under federal proposals to cap Medicaid spending, Georgia is projected to lose $4 billion over ten years.

The Affordable Care Act provided Georgia consumers with the opportunity to purchase private health insurance and provides financial assistance for many

  • More than 487,000 Georgians purchased health insurance through the ACA’s Health Insurance Marketplace (also called healthcare.gov), helping to reduce the state’s uninsured rate from 21.4% to 15.9% in three years.

  • Of those who purchased coverage, 86% get financial help that allow them to pay lower monthly premium costs. This financial help, made possible through the ACA, brought the average monthly premium in Georgia down from $385 to $98. Shifting tax credits from low and middle income workers and families to higher income individuals would increase the costs of health insurance for many Georgians.

The Affordable Care Act established rights and protections for health care consumers that affect most Georgians, even those with job-based coverage.

  • All individual insurance plans must now cover a comprehensive range of services called essential health benefits. If this part of the ACA is repealed, insurance companies could go back to excluding many common health care needs like maternity coverage and substance abuse treatment.

  • The ACA prevents insurers from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions by barring them from coverage or charging them more. Pre-existing conditions include chronic diseases like diabetes, mental health conditions, asthma, cancer, and more.

  • The ACA allows young adults to stay on their parent’s health insurance plan until age 26.

  • The ACA protects people from discrimination by health care providers and insurers based on sex, sex stereotyping, gender identity, language spoken, or country of origin