Medicaid Expansion MIA in Georgia

John Commins, June 11, 2014

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal says his state cannot afford to expand its Medicaid rolls. Strong evidence suggests it can't afford not to.


Nathan Deal

Gov. Nathan Deal (R- GA)

Four rural hospitals have closed in Georgia in the past two years.

On Monday, the state's new Rural Hospital Stabilization Committee sat for nearly three hours at its inaugural meeting to discuss ways to keep more rural hospitals from shuttering.

The 15-member committee was created in March by Republican Gov. Nathan Deal. It's comprised of politicians, hospital administrators, rural health advocates, physicians, and other healthcare experts and concerned citizens. Leading the agenda on Monday was Deal's three-point plan which includes allowing financially strapped rural hospitals to transform into freestanding emergency departments.

Palpably absent, however, was any discussion of expanding the Medicaid rolls in Georgia and tapping the billions of dollars in federal money that come with it.

The people appointed to the committee appear to be honest and conscientious and to truly care about the perilous state of rural hospitals in their state. They seem to want to find a solution, but they are severely constrained, and they know better than to carp about a Medicaid expansion that is not going to happen.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.


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