With all the fuss about the Affordable Care Act website, overlooked is a major problem for health care in Georgia. The problem is caused by Gov. Nathan Deal.
Deal is refusing to accept $33 billion (that’s billion) from the Affordable Care Act over the next 10 years. These are funds that will allow 600,000 more Georgians to enroll in Medicaid, and to fund Georgia hospitals to take care of others. For the first three years the federal government will pay it all, and a sliding scale thereon. There is no good economic reason for the governor to do this, and he is just part of a Republican campaign to throw out the law and repeal the ACA.
Not only is Deal risking the health of hundreds of thousands of people, but he also is risking the closing of rural hospitals in the CSRA that depend on Medicaid income. This unbelievable stubbornness will raise costs for Georgians’ hospital and emergency care. Instead of a healthy population monitored by physicians, emergency care will have to treat diseases that are festering long before they are seen in emergency rooms. This is medicine at the highest cost to the taxpayer and the patient.
In 2014, Deal will be running for re-election. His callous act harming 600,000 Georgians and our hospitals will come home to roost. The Democrats in the state will make sure it does.
(The writer is chairman of the Richmond County Democratic Party.)