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Governor Deal wants to shut down rural hosp
Last comment by gacpl 1 year, 9 months ago.

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I grew up in an era where people helped each other and fought to ensure that people in the community were okay.

My fondest memory growing up is when my father would arrive home from a long days work. I would meet my father at the door, take his lunch box out his hands, and pull his shoes off his feet. I was a daddy's girl and I thought he was the greatest man on the face of the earth.

One hot Saturday my father arrived home with tears in his eyes and head hanging low. I felt a sharp pain in my stomach and I began to cry. I kept asking him what was wrong but he wouldn't answer. I ran to the back of the house and told my mother to stop what she was doing because something was wrong with "my father". My mother told me to grab my brothers and go outside. I was furious because I wanted to know what was going on and how dare she send me outside when it concerned "my father"!

Later that day, my father gathered us around the table and told us that the paper-mill had shut down and he had no idea when he would return to work.

The paper mill was shut down for months. We had to apply for public assistance and stand in long lines for food. It was hard on the city and families. I don't know what we would have done with out assistance in our time of need.

When I went home for the holidays-I looked at old newspaper clippings of the event that changed so many lives. The old clippings and pictures reminded me how the politicians were at the center serving meals to the families and ensuring them that they had their back! They really went out of their way to make sure the families were okay until the mill opened back up or they could find employment elsewhere.

Over the past few years, I've had to listen to conservatives call on the name of Jesus,lead prayers at civic events, and speak to constituents on the local football field with such charisma and concern. What type of person decides to run for public office and turns his back on the very people he/she serves?

Georgia needs to expand Medicaid because the same people the governor took an oath to represent are the same people he is denying a resource that could benefit them.

I don't want to hear about the cost because we spend much more on Corporate/back door welfare than social service programs.

"About $59 billion is spent on traditional social welfare programs. $92 billion is spent on corporate subsidies. So, the government spent 50% more on corporate welfare than it did on food stamps and housing assistance in 2006."


Please read the article below.

ATLANTA — Republican governors scored easy political points by rejecting President Barack Obama’s plan to enroll more poor people in government health insurance.

Now Republican leaders in Georgia and Mississippi may be bailing out hospitals that will lose funding they would have gotten from Obama’s health care law. South Carolina’s leaders increased payments to some hospitals in a push to improve rural health, though the extra money likely placated hospital officials who might otherwise have pressured Republicans to adopt the Democratic plan.

The basic problem is simple: Obama’s overhaul is not being implemented as was planned. Its designers assumed that very few people would lack health insurance, meaning the U.S. government could reduce the payments it makes to hospitals for treating poor and uninsured patients. But after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, 25 states refused to expand their government-funded Medicaid programs or are still debating it, leaving large numbers of the poor without health insurance. Without health insurance, those low-income patients cannot fully pay for treatment.

Hospitals in the holdout states still have to treat the poor, but they will get less money for doing it.

In Georgia, there’s concern about the finances of Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital, a regional trauma center and safety net hospital for poor patients. About 60 percent of Grady’s patients are either uninsured or on Medicaid. Hospital officials project the federal spending cuts could cost it $141 million.

“You’re talking about a large number of uninsured, you’re talking about a Trauma I center,” said Chris Riley, chief of staff for Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, “and you’re talking about a hospital that serves a very primary purpose, covers a lot of Georgia residents.”

Like his counterparts in other Southern states, Deal has rejected Obama’s plan to expand eligibility rules so people who cannot afford to buy subsidized health insurance plans on government exchanges can enroll in Medicaid, a public program that funds health care for the needy, aged, disabled and poor families with children. The federal government has pledged to pay the full cost of Medicaid expansion for three years, before lowering its share to 90 percent.

Avoiding a crisis

Georgia state Rep. Terry England, a senior Republican lawmaker tasked with drafting the budget, said he has discussed packages that could include payments to hospitals and run in the tens of millions of dollars. He called it cheaper than a Medicaid expansion. While discussions are ongoing, no formal proposal has been put forward.

Allowing a hospital such as Grady to slip into a crisis would be bad election-year politics. Deal faces two longshot Republican challengers in a primary this year, and the winner will run against Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter.

Other states are attempting partial fixes. In November, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant proposed sending an additional $4.4 million to make up for Medicaid cuts that were later delayed by Congress. He has chastised state lawmakers who tried last year pressuring him into expanding the Medicaid system.

“For us to enter into an expansion program would be a fool’s errand,” Bryant told The Associated Press in a December interview.

He also raised the concern — which has been echoed by other Republican governors — that states could be left with the tab if the federal government isn’t able to keep its promises on funding the expansion.

South Carolina has taken a different approach. The state government raised the Medicaid reimbursements it pays rural, often financially struggling hospitals — from 60 percent of an uninsured patient’s bill to 100 percent. The change was part of a larger, $90 million effort approved in this year’s budget.
Savannah Morning News.

Latest Activity: Feb 11, 2014 at 9:53 AM

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gacpl commented on Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 at 18:09 PM

people only looking at the short term think expanding medicare is a good thing. the federal government is only funding it for a few years, after that all the expanded costs go straight to the states with no federal help.

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