New Report Outlines Urgent Need for Federal Approach to Provide Relief to Millions of People Who Have Been Locked Out of Coverage

Report Comes After Sen. Warnock Released Bold Legislation for the Federal Government to Close the Coverage Gap

Washington, DC — Today, Protect Our Care is releasing a report on the impacts of the Coverage Gap in Georgia, one of 12 states that refuse to expand Medicaid. Americans with low incomes should not be forced to go without health coverage simply because they live in a state that has refused Medicaid expansion. According to the report, nearly 646,000 Georgians could gain coverage if Medicaid were expanded.

However, despite hundreds of billions of dollars in financial incentives in the American Rescue Plan, state leaders continue to stand in the way of expansion, leaving hundreds of thousands of Georgia families without access to quality, affordable care. 

In response to Republican inaction in states like Georgia, President Biden and Congressional Democrats are working to bypass state governments who refuse to do the right thing. Just this week, Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) introduced legislation creating a federal solution to finally expand Medicaid coverage to millions of people stuck in the coverage gap.

The POC report comes after leaders of the Congressional Tri-Caucus, which includes the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), joined more than 60 of their colleagues on a letter advocating for closing the coverage gap through the American Families Plan.

“For too long leaders in Georgia and the other non-expansion states have put politics over people, refusing to strengthen public health by expanding Medicaid. And this robust report details how the nearly 275,000 Georgians who are in the coverage gap and the 500,000 Georgians who would be eligible for Medicaid have paid the highest price for these decisions,” Senator Reverend Warnock said. “This timely report underlines the urgency with which Congress must act to ensure hardworking people with low-incomes have access to affordable health care, and I’m going to keep pushing the Senate hard to include my legislation to close the coverage gap and provide affordable health care to millions of Georgians and Americans in the next recovery package.”

“Waiting for the Republican leaders in Georgia and the 11 other states that refuse to expand Medicaid to change course is no longer a viable option,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “By refusing to expand Medicaid in their state, Georgia Republican lawmakers are denying coverage to their most vulnerable populations, including thousands of Georgians of color. Despite the overwhelming benefits of Medicaid expansion, and even with the additional incentives included in the American Rescue Plan, Republicans have put politics over people by continuing to reject the program. Senator Warnock and Congressional Democrats are now leading with a bold new approach for the federal government to close the expansion gap, and Congress must take action now to make it a reality.”

Read the new report on closing the coverage gap in Georgia here.

Read the previous reports on Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina. Texas, and Wisconsin.