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Exit interview: Nathan Deal on the issue that brings him to tears, why he didn’t expand Medicaid, and more
On January 14, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal hands the keys to Brian Kemp and will settle in Habersham County, where he and his wife, Sandra, will retire. He looks back at criminal justice reform, the issue that brings him to tears, why he didn’t expand Medicaid, the religious liberty bill, and the importance of baby steps.
On July 24, Republican voters can choose between Casey Cagle and Brian Kemp to be their nominee for Georgia governor. While they align on many platforms, the two differ slightly in a few key areas: Medicaid expansion; transportation, and their campaign personas.
As nearly 1.7 million eligible, uninsured Georgians begin seeking medical care, Grady Memorial Hospital faces a new challenge in the wake of Governor Nathan Deal’s refusal to expand Medicaid. Money that once went to Grady and other safety nets as part of the federal Indigent Care Trust Fund will now be destined for states that have already opted in.
A recent study estimates that Georgia and other states opting out of Medicaid expansion will miss out on a collective $8.4 billion in federal payments and spend roughly $1 billion “in the short term” on uncompensated care. Grady Memorial Hospital will swallow some of these costs as Metro Atlanta’s largest safety net health provider.
Gov. Nathan Deal's refusal to accept an expansion of Medicaid, or to set up a health insurance exchange in Georgia as required by the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) aren't new news. Deal made it clear he'd reject an expansion of Medicaid not long after the Supreme Court's ACA ruling made it easier for states to decline. And Deal telegraphed his decision about exchanges for months before he made it official on November 16.