Georgia leaders eye Medicaid waivers after Obamacare repeal fails

State Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford. AJC file/Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

The collapse of the GOP health care overhaul has Georgia’s leaders wrestling over whether to stand pat and let a funding crisis continue to threaten the state’s fragile hospital system or seek changes that could open the spigots for more federal dollars.

Amid uncertainty about how insurance markets will be affected by the U.S. Senate’s inability to repeal the Affordable Care Act, influential conservatives in the state are already preparing for a debate next year over how to craft waivers to seek what could be vast changes to the state’s Medicaid program.

They cast the waivers as a conservative effort to shave the state’s costs by imposing new standards on recipients. They note that state officials would turn to a familiar figure to sign off on the changes: former Georgia U.S. Rep. Tom Price, now Trump’s health secretary. And they steer well clear of the E-word — expansion — to describe how they might work.

“It’s a good thing that Congress has finally played their hand — they’re inept and cannot do anything — and now it’s time to turn our hand over and play our cards,” said state Sen. Renee Unterman, the chairwoman of the chamber’s Health and Human Services Committee.

 

Read more on MyAJC: After Obamacare repeal fails, Georgia leaders turn to Medicaid waivers

Reader Comments 0

40 comments
Mike Jones97
Mike Jones97

Slow repubs! Voting for governors that are causing your deductibles to sky rocket. But it's President Obama's fault. You guys are so clueless. Bought by corporate America. Sold by corporate America.

Jeri Henson Dies
Jeri Henson Dies

Yeah, please allow Georgians to have a win-win for once.

Kevin Kitchen
Kevin Kitchen

I trust the Republicans to run Medicare. About as much as I trust a rattlesnake under my feet.

Jay Ansley
Jay Ansley

As a Georgia resident, they need to better scrutinize who they allow on medicaid, housing subsidies and the food stamp program. Too many are on these programs when they have CD's or own stocks..............MPA

Richard Howell
Richard Howell

It is past due that Washington Join The Ranks, strip them of entitlement, let them play apart of the daily grind... no more freebies...

Anita Jones
Anita Jones

nope free market --let Odumbocare crash & BURN! :)

Chris Fowler
Chris Fowler

No waivers, nothing. It is time to cut off those that bite the hand. They wanted the GOP. Let them have it. If we bail them out they'll bite the hand during the next election.

Kisha KC Green
Kisha KC Green

I know it seems cruel but I kind of agree with you. Even though I know lots of needy people will be adversely effected, maybe they need to feel it to stop voting for these Neanderthals or sitting out elections.

Ben L Rainey
Ben L Rainey

Congress will get it right sooner or later otherwise Trump will issue elective order fixing it

Linda Trotter
Linda Trotter

Hey, I've got some ocean front property in Arizona to sell if you think Trump will fix anything. He will be extremely lucky to avoid prison time. Don't hold your breath, or maybe you should. PS. that would be an Executive Order, not elective order. SMH

Michael Hopson
Michael Hopson

Just never learn....I expect they will learn next election.

Michael Hopson
Michael Hopson

Tony Patterson well I didn't loose that one and they didn't win, without commie support, I'm sorta hoping the Dems don't shoot theirselves in the foot again....hoping....\U0001f602

Nellie Johnson
Nellie Johnson

Michael Hopson I agree 100% with u. Rump had help winning.

Roy Redding
Roy Redding

Wow! You people actually believe that BS about Russia support for the Trump administration? Please tell me what they did influence the voters! Oh, HACK the DNC email servers and release actual emails that revealed the democrats corruption? Well, not even ONE single US intelligence agency ever had access to analyze the supposedly hacked DNC email server!

Michael Hopson
Michael Hopson

Roy Redding wow you actually can't discern or evaluate real evidence. Well just for starters release of any email proving anything without a court order is illegal. And if someone knew about it and did not report it to the authorities that's illegal. And if they did that and cooperated with it that's illegal. Wow do you have the slightest clue as to what your talking about. No. Wow.

Michael Hopson
Michael Hopson

Tony Patterson like the snowflake plumber....\U0001f602

Roy Redding
Roy Redding

Michael Hopson - You can't be serious. So you believe that it's illegal to release an email proving "anything" without a court order is illegal? Also, if someone knew about the "wrong doing" proved in the email, then that person also committed a crime? Using your logic, every DNC member with access to those emails is a criminal. Not a single one of them reported the actions to the proper authorities. Next, how did any US intelligence agency determine that the Russians were responsible? Not a single US intelligence agency every had access to even analyze the supposedly hacked server.

Michael Hopson
Michael Hopson

Roy Redding its illegal to hack into a server and steal emails and release them is ...what rock do you live under. Seriously. That's not logic Spock that's law. Ask the NSA I'm sure they will answer you question as usual. Not denying or confirming...or telling you to figure it out for yourself it is generally accepted they can do that they have stated they have, you could ask them their methods but usually you'll get the standard we don't disclose methods.... see if you can figure that one out.

Roy Redding
Roy Redding

Michael Hopson - Yes, it is illegal to hack into someone's sever, steal their emails and release them. You claimed that the release of any email proving anything without a court order was illegal. That is not true! Yeah, I guess I could just ask the NSA why they didn't take possession of the server in question and perform their own analysis. Then again, would I or any other person in the US be able to successfully deny any US intelligence agency access to our servers? No, they would have simple taken them whether they needed them or not. I am now expected to believe that the NSA can determine that Russia was behind the hacks without ever even analyzing the supposedly hacked devices? Even, if it was possible, which I don't believe. They would always confiscate all potential evidence for confirmation and preservation. Odd, that didn't occur.

Beth Oliver
Beth Oliver

Give it a pretty name like Indiana's Healthy Indiana Plan or Kentucky's Kynect and the Republican base will ever know it expanded Medicare.

Ted Wetherby
Ted Wetherby

Rural hospital closing for no other reason but refusal to expand and bring cash into this state.. Without the ACA most over look the fact that these reimbursements to general practitioners at 175 dollars a visit would be going to the ER at 1000+ dollars a visit Medicaid was supposed to do away with this using the ER as a resource for non emergency use seeing it was so costly.. If we can happily afford the ER but not Medicaid.. No one complained about the ER reimbursement's..

Roy Redding
Roy Redding

Ted Wetherby - You seem to believe that there is ZERO cost to the state of Georgia to expand Medicaid. Well, that is simply not true. Georgia estimated that the cost would be around $2.5 Billion over the first ten years. Yet, you believe that the state of Georgia just simply didn't expand Medicaid in order to pass on the reimbursements? Umm... No, they passed to avoid the actual increase in cost.

Issac Reid
Issac Reid

Their supporters are many in this state. Unfortunately they really don't know what the issues are. They just know they vote republican. Even though today's republicans are not really republicans.

Linda Trotter
Linda Trotter

Single payer Medicare for All is the only solution. Our government should be negotiating the cost of health care and prescription drugs instead of accepting money from lobbyists to vote against the taxpayers well being.

Jay Ansley
Jay Ansley

You are talking socialized medicine - you know the type of plan that forced the death of Charlie Gard and is in the process of pulling the plug on another child with a disease they can't identify.........You might be young, I don't know, but the elderly will be the first to be denied treatment...........MPA

Katherine Erwin Bailey
Katherine Erwin Bailey

You need to do some research. If they didn't have universal healthcare, Charlie probably would've not had any care. Especially if the prices compared to what we pay in the US. You don't hear people from other countries screaming they don't want their healthcare.

Ralph Johnson
Ralph Johnson

My family has been on single payer for 29 years it's has been working fine.

Linda Trotter
Linda Trotter

Jay Ansley, I'm among the elderly and it's getting to the point that I pay medical bills or keep my house, not to mention the medicine I cannot afford to buy. One night in the hospital $75K. Death would be preferable to me over living on the street.

Terece Sutherlin
Terece Sutherlin

Ralph Johnson apparently using tri-care as an example of single payer wont work here due to the numbers of those who dont work in this country or even contribute to their own health care costs. Much larger pool to deal with

Julie Rambo
Julie Rambo

Medicare only pays 80% and CMS decides, not the doctor.

Julie Rambo
Julie Rambo

Medicaid Waiver is at risk of being repealed by the GOP AND THE SINGLE-PAYER NUTS.

Keith Taylor
Keith Taylor

Single payer....Yep, tell that to the mother and father who just lost their child in the UK because a Court would not let them come to the US for treatment.

Keith Taylor
Keith Taylor

Katherine Erwin Bailey Pure speculation.....what we DO know id what actually happened.....Charlie "probably".......pure speculation.

Roy Redding
Roy Redding

Katherine Bailey- No, you need to do some research. You claim that they probably would not have had any insurance. Based on what? They paid a lot in taxes which funds their health insurance. Then, they learn that the government is the decision maker for their healthcare. They can't even fire their healthcare provider or insurance provider. Because it is the government.

Katherine Erwin Bailey
Katherine Erwin Bailey

They refused to accept federal money to expand Medicaid under the ACA. They only have themselves and their supporters to blame.