Medicaid expansion: Kentucky mulls Bevin's plan; all eyes on Georgia

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Louisiana will soon join just a handful of Southern states and expand its Medicaid program--a move that has turned attention toward another expansion holdout, Georgia.

Georgia’s governor and legislature have thus far refused to consider Medicaid expansion, Kaiser Health News notes. But Georgia state Sen. Renee Unterman, a Republican and chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, recently urged the state to “re-examine” Medicaid expansion.

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce is also looking at ways to cover more of the state’s uninsured, though the organization has not specifically recommended Medicaid expansion, according to the article.

Medicaid expansion helps save state governments millions of dollars and reduces uncompensated hospital costs. That could help Georgia, which has lost five rural hospitals since the beginning of 2013, leaving large swaths of the state’s rural area without access to care, according to the article. 

The benefit to Louisiana hospitals is a little less clear. The state relies heavily on “disproportionate share” funding, which helps support hospitals that serve a large population of indigent or uninsured patients, KHN reports.

Meanwhile, Kentucky continues to debate Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposal to overhaul the state’s Medicaid program by requiring able-bodied individuals to work, volunteer or go to school to qualify for dental or vision benefits, according to the Associated Press.

Bevin’s plan is unlikely to gain federal approval, as Indiana’s similar proposal was recently rejected, according to the AP. But Bevin says he will repeal the state’s expansion of Medicaid entirely if his plan is not approved.

- here is KHN article
- here is AP article