Medicaid not expanded, some students cannot qualify

Gov. Deal stood firm on his decision to not expand Medicaid during the 2014 State of the State Address on Wednesday, Jan. 15. The expansion of Medicaid would help college students who are independent and without kids, while current qualifications exclude adults without children.

Students attending Georgia State full-time and are under the age of 26 are covered under their parents’ private health insurance.

But no expansion means that an independent Georgia State student without children or who has children that are independent most likely do not qualify for Medicaid and will need to buy a plan from the federally facilitated marketplace.

The Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” gave the option to expand Medicaid. Title II., The Role of Public Programs of the Affordable Care Act, states, “The Act extends Medicaid while treating all States equally.” This minimized federal involvement.

There are 26 states that decided to expand Medicaid.

Although Georgia was not one of them, according to Gov. Deal, it will cost Georgians $327 million in 2014, which amounts to approximately $1,000 per Georgia citizen.

“Expansion would add 620,000 people to our taxpayer funded health plan, costing us even more,” Gov. Deal said.

Not all Georgians agree that this is the best decision for our state.

Moral Monday, a coalition led by local citizens that raises awareness for people in marginalized circumstances, hosted a rally in front of the capitol on Monday, Jan. 13.

The rally focused on persuading Gov. Deal to expand Medicaid.

One of the speakers was North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber, who started the Moral Monday coalition.

At the expansion rally, Rev. Barber acknowledged the 620,000 people without Medicaid and challenged Gov. Deal to act upon “how we treat the least of these.”

During the State of the State Address, Gov. Deal said that during the 2014 elections, some people who will run for office may try to change the current policies, “… and they may even have protestors to back them up.”

“Their solutions may sound appealing on the surface but will ultimately require us to raise taxes on all Georgians. We must resist those temptations,” Gov. Deal said.