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New report says Georgia's healthcare waiver proposal would actually reduce people who can access it

The report says Georgia's request for a waiver would actually reduce the number of people who could get health insurance.

ATLANTA — A report from a Washington think tank is critical of Georgia’s latest effort to access the Affordable Care Act without expanding Medicaid.

The report says Georgia's request for a waiver would actually reduce the number of people who could get health insurance. 

For the last 10 years, Georgia’s Republican governors have declined to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act because they said it would be too costly.

In the last two years, Gov. Kemp has looked for some wiggle room in the law.

Early in his term, Kemp announced he would seek a federal waiver that he said would expand health care coverage in Georgia under Obamacare without Medicaid expansion opposed by Republicans. 

A Brookings Institution report says two efforts by Georgia had “major deficiencies that … the federal government could not lawfully approve.” 

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Kemp’s office tried again. Yet, Brookings says the newest “waiver proposal would likely cause tens of thousands of Georgia residents to lose their health insurance coverage.”

Advocates say gaps in health insurance disproportionately affect Georgia’s less affluent and minority populations. 

The report says the Georgia proposal would eliminate ACA exchanges as a potential source of health insurance – which the state says would add 33,000 new consumers of health insurance. Kemp’s office describes it as “an innovative approach to improving choice in the healthcare marketplace and lowering premium costs.

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But Brookings says “nothing in the application creates new incentives that could plausibly bring in new (health insurance) business.”

Brookings describes the reasoning behind the state’s ACA waiver application as “nonsensical.”  Brookings predicts that the federal government will reject Georgia’s newest waiver application.

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