Stacey Abrams vows to continue Medicaid expansion fight in Georgia – despite Trump’s win

George House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams speaks during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Monday, July 25, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

George House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams speaks during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Monday, July 25, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

A few days ago, House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams joked to a crowd of Gwinnett business leaders she wouldn’t mention the “M-E word” – Medicaid expansion. But the Atlanta Democrat made clear this week she and other Georgia Democrats will continue to press for the expansion of the program, despite fading hopes the federal funding to pay for it will survive after Donald Trump’s election.

“The Democratic Party is going to continue to argue for Medicaid expansion. We’re going to argue for coverage of as many Georgians as possible,” she told WABE’s Denis O’Hayer Wednesday. “And the Republican response is going to be the governing response: ‘We don’t think we can afford it.’ Our argument is that we think you can, you just simply won’t make the investment.”

Gov. Nathan Deal and other Republican leaders have long resisted expanding the state’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act, saying it was too costly in the long run, though a growing number of GOP lawmakers hoped to force the conversation this legislative session.

Trump’s victory has sidelined the debate, and his pick of U.S. Rep. Tom Price as health secretary – who has made dismantling Obamacare his passion – means vast changes are coming to the program. Abrams said she has little hope of swaying Price or Deal to change their minds. But she hopes to put the onus on Republicans now in complete control of Washington.

Here’s a snippet of her interview with O’Hayer:

Abrams: “The responsibility of Democrats is to demand that, if we are not going to take the obvious and offered solution, to need to demand from Republicans what are you going to do about the healthcare crisis that’s facing Georgia.”

O’Hayer: “But you don’t have any suggestions for them?”

Abrams: “Oh, we do. Medicaid expansion.”

O’Hayer: “But if that’s a non-starter, why not say, OK, we got a Plan B here?”

Abrams: “This isn’t a function of Plan A or a Plan B. There’s one bucket of money, and that money has on the outside of its label ‘Medicaid expansion.’ The challenge is do we decide to access that bucket or not …”

Listen to the rest here.

***

One of the most bitter internal Trump administration clashes is over, and it left a Georgia Republican operative as the runner-up to one of the GOP’s top posts.

Cobb native Nick Ayers was backed by Mike Pence, Stephen Bannon and other top Trump aides to run the Republican National Committee. But Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus, the RNC’s current head, sided with Michigan GOP chair Ronna McDaniel and his faction won the day.

McDaniel’s promotion was made official in a news release Wednesday.

“I’m excited to have a highly effective leader in Ronna McDaniel as RNC Deputy Chair and I look forward to her serving as the Party’s Chairman in 2017,” said President-elect Donald J. Trump. “Ronna has been extremely loyal to our movement and her efforts were critical to our tremendous victory in Michigan, and I know she will bring the same passion to the Republican National Committee.”

Don’t shed too many tears for Ayers, who ran Sonny Perdue’s re-election campaign and is now a top aide to Pence. If he doesn’t join the administration in another role, he’s likely to continue his high-paid gig as a behind-the-scenes GOP operative.

***

A dose of good news for Georgia’s economy, care of the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business:

“Many of the same forces that contributed specifically to Georgia’s growth in the past two years will be even stronger in 2017,” said Dean Benjamin C. Ayers. “First, Georgia has even more projects in its economic development pipeline. Second, Georgia’s economy will get more leverage from the housing recovery than the national economy. Third, Georgia’s manufacturers will continue to do better than U.S. manufacturers. Fourth, Georgia will see faster population growth.”

***

Georgia Democrats barely gained any ground in the fight over the state Legislature this November, but they’re hoping to ramp up the pressure on a handful of the GOP’s most vulnerable incumbents over the next two years.

A list circulating in Democratic circles features the names of 15 Republican state lawmakers, all from metro Atlanta, in districts won by Democrat Hillary Clinton last month.

Check out the list below:

Senate

6 – Hunter Hill (R) – Cobb

40 – Fran Millar (R) – Dekalb

48 – David Shafer (R) – Gwinnett

House

37 – Sam Teasley (R) – Marietta

40 – Rich Golick (R) – Smyrna

51 – Wendell Willard (R) Sandy Springs

52 – Deborah Silcox (R) – Atlanta

54 – Beth Beskin (R) – Atlanta

79 – Tom Taylor (R) – Dunwoody

80 –  Meagan Hanson (R) – Brookhaven

105 – Joyce Chandler (R) – Lawrenceville

106 – Brett Harrell (R) –  Lawrenceville

107 – David Casas (R) – Lilburn

108 – Clay Cox (R)- Lilburn

111 – Brian Strickland (R) – McDonough

Reader Comments 0

39 comments
Barbara Magnuson
Barbara Magnuson

How does she expect to pay for increased costs? We have too many people on food stamps, welfare, WIC, free phones, public housing , etc. to increase social services. If we can get some of these people to work, choose to use birth control, make more responsible choices then we would have more money for those who truly need Medicaid (mentally ill, chronically ill, etc)!

Polly Walden
Polly Walden

Trump will not allow the illegal things going on anymore. If you want to expand it you need to stop the fraud first

Mark Manning
Mark Manning

Good luck leeches.. 55 years an older no problem but 18-55 no..get out work..

Jean Allen
Jean Allen

Follow the law.like every one else has to.you piece of shi!.I hate people who think because their black think their better than any one else.Where the hell do you get off saying that.bull shi!.I got your name and I know where you are.and every word you said.And it will be reported,and we will just see how long you will still have your job thereThis is being reported.And you will be watched.to see you you break the law.Sick of this breaking the law crap talk.

Jerry Boyd
Jerry Boyd

Democrats just love spending other people's money. Anything for votes.

Joanne Eaves Morton
Joanne Eaves Morton

Who do you think pays for healthcare for those who do not have insurancr/medcaid. Am betting I will not get an answer.

Jerry Boyd
Jerry Boyd

Bill Shields exactly and well said.

Bill Shields
Bill Shields

Gloretta King doing what libs do best. Ignore the statement and deflect. Displaying a horribly low intelligence level. I'll spell it out. The statement isn't about being rich. It's about helping people moron.

Bill Shields
Bill Shields

People who don't have insurance don't have near as much medical expenses idiot. False narrative to avoid facts is a tool of libs

Drew Presley
Drew Presley

I'll never understand how republicans can deal with being so selfish.

Bill Shields
Bill Shields

We want to keep what we've earned. I don't understand how libs can be so selfish to forcefully take from me with taxes and give to people who won't work

Jerry Boyd
Jerry Boyd

Republicans selfish? Instead of spending billions trying to get a crook elected why don't the supper rich Democrats and Hollywood types use their money to help people instead of just other people's money?

Bill Shields
Bill Shields

If Drew Presley feels that way I say he's selfish for not donating 100% of his income to charity. Instead he wants to take mine.

Gloretta King
Gloretta King

Jerry Boyd , you do know that Donald Trump is SUPER RICH? You're talking about super rich Democrats but you voted for a VERY SUPER RICH president. Where is the logic behind that? i just can't wit some of y'alls logic and thinking.

Jerry Boyd
Jerry Boyd

Exactly! Bill, as much as we try you can't fix stupid.

Michelle Beasley
Michelle Beasley

If the taxpayers pay for VIAGRA then they should ALSO pay for the expansion of Medicaid in Georgia. The later is a matter of life and death! VIAGRA is not a necessity...period! Wake up people...where are your morals!!!!

Vera McInnis
Vera McInnis

If they really needy they should have it and they will have it but it is too much fraud going on and that needs to be weeded out. But remember the cost comes from the taxpayers

Keli Grantham Steadham
Keli Grantham Steadham

It's also the parents who take their kids to the eemergency room for the sniffles...or even the doctor's office for the sniffles...just because they can.

AJ Roth
AJ Roth

Much of the costly fraud is NOT the patients needing care, it it the crooked doctors, home health care providers, and clinics who are defrauding the system. One individual cannot file or benefit from false medicaid claims.

Larry Williamson
Larry Williamson

If the DNC pays for it we don't have a problem. Go Trump

Drew Presley
Drew Presley

I'll never understand how republicans can deal with being so selfish.

John Woods
John Woods

You're an Idiot for assuming I'm a Republican...And, how about you WORK FOR and EARN A LIVING then watch the Government take away some of what you have earned and give it to someone who hasn't work for it in order to buy their vote...It's called Communism..."Take from those with the greatest ability and give to those with the greatest need"...A quote from one of your Heroes...Karl Marx...

Rick Richmond
Rick Richmond

As seniors suffer we will give people who don't work and illegals. That's taking care of americians who put you in office.

Patricia Evans
Patricia Evans

Thanks Stacey Abrams to you and all of those in the Georgia General Assembly who are REAL Christians.

Susan Coppola Gill
Susan Coppola Gill

REAL Christians don't like their pockets picked so other people can support charities they, themselves, wouldn't donate to. REAL Christians give from the heart, not because it's legislated.

Drew Presley
Drew Presley

Morons for not wanting people to go without medical aid? I will never understand how republicans are so selfish.

JoAnn Fogleman
JoAnn Fogleman

Georgia can not afford this for the residence of the state much less the illegals. That's what your plan is.

Mark Stevens
Mark Stevens

Article 1 of the Constitution lists 18 powers of the federal government. I will be damned if I see providing health coverage for anyone among these powers.

Patricia Evans
Patricia Evans

Uh...no, it isn't. It's totally funded by the Federal Government for the first year (already past) and 90 % for the next 3 years. BUT, since the Republicans in Georgia, would rather let citizens DIE than have access to healthcare, time is running out.

Mark Stevens
Mark Stevens

Article 1 of the Constitution lists 18 powers of the federal government. I will be damned if I see providing health coverage for anyone among these powers.

Les Gazinski
Les Gazinski

Sure, as long as the DNC foots the bill, after all they just flushed campaign money down the crapper.

Marion Baker
Marion Baker

By robbing productive citizens just like they have done for years Chee Hill .

Chee Hill
Chee Hill

Now, how on Earth would a political party national committee pay for Medicaid expansion in one state?