New Joint Economic Committee report provides data reaffirming the economic and social benefits of closing the coverage gap in Georgia, 11 other non-expansion states

According to the report, in addition to saving lives closing the Medicaid coverage gap would “bolster employment growth,” “improve people’s financial security,” and “stabilize state budgets and hospital systems”

Closing the Medicaid coverage gap could create nearly 1 million new jobs due to increased federal spending in health care and related industries

Closing the Medicaid coverage gap could also significantly reduce the number of unpaid non-medical bills andreduce non-medical debt in collection by as much as $600 to $1,000

One of his top priorities, Senator Reverend Warnock has spent significant time in Georgia hearing from residents how access to free and affordable health care coverage would benefit their lives, and has uplifted many Georgia stories on lack of health care access during speeches on the Senate floor

Earlier this month, Senator Warnock led the entire Georgia Democratic congressional delegation in urging the Biden Administration to protect access in Georgia for thousands in the state

Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), a member of the bicameral Joint Economic Committee (JEC), shined a spotlight on the economic and life-saving benefits of closing the Medicaid coverage gap in Georgia and the 11 other non-expansion states following a new Congressional report detailing the socioeconomic benefit of providing access to free and affordable health care coverage. The Joint Economic Committee released a new report examining the economy- and society-wide benefits of closing the Medicaid coverage gap. In the 12 states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), 2.2 million workers who earn above their state’s Medicaid eligibility threshold but below the poverty line are rendered ineligible for both Medicaid and for ACA tax credits to buy insurance—leaving them with few options for affordable healthcare. According to the new JEC report, approximately 275,000 families in Georgia are in the Medicaid coverage gap —the third highest in the country. Georgia is also among the top states in residents living with pre-existing conditions and chronic illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Following the release of the report, Senator Warnock—who introduced the Medicaid Saves Lives Act in the Senate and has advocated successfully for a federal fix to close the Medicaid coverage gap—highlighted the critical need for the federal government to address the Medicaid coverage gap in order to bolster financial security for working Georgians and shore up state and local health care budgets. 

“Dr. King once said that of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane. This new report shines a bright light not just on how the refusal of state leaders in Georgia to expand Medicaid is exacerbating inequality and hurting people in need of access to vital health care coverage, but also how it is a missed opportunity to create good paying jobs in our state, bolster our hospitals and health systems, and help improve Georgians’ financial security,” said Senator Reverend Warnock on the report’s release. “I’ve been fighting for years as an activist, and for months as a Senator, to get a federal fix to address this issue over the finish line, and I’m going to keep doing everything I can to close the coverage gap and ensure that all eligible Georgians can access free and affordable health care coverage.”

Analyses of recent and historical Medicaid coverage expansions for low-income families show that the policy saves lives, improves peoples’ health, supports local hospital systems and is a strong investment in long-run socioeconomic well-being. For example, Medicaid expansion under the ACA saved nearly 20,000 lives in just the four years after enactment, reduced medical debt sent to collections by $6 billion and increased the number of preventative care visits in expansion states by 41%.

In particular, the report highlights how:

This report builds on a prior JEC issue brief that highlights the important role that expanded health insurance subsidies under the American Rescue Plan played in increasing health coverage and financial security for many low to middle-income Americans. The previous brief also presented new data on the number of people in each congressional district who are estimated to gain coverage if these subsidies are extended. Passing both of these policy fixes, championed by Senator Warnock, would fill significant gaps in the U.S. health system that put affordable healthcare out of reach for millions of Americans.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *