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Phaedra Corso is a health policy professor in the UGA College of Public Health (Photo courtesy of UGA).

UGA Expert Discusses How Republican Healthcare Plan Could Impact Georgia

14 March 2017

Last week the Republicans unveiled their new health care plan, which they’re calling the American Health Care Act.

And this week, the Congressional Budget Office released a report about how the healthcare act could impact Americans. It projected that less Americans would be insured, but prices for premiums, as well as the budget deficit, would go down.

Phaedra Corso, a health policy professor in the UGA College of Public Health, weighed in on how this new health care plan, if enacted, could impact Georgia.

“Right now the Medicaid program is funded partially by the state and partially by the federal government. In general it’s about a 50/50 match. But in the state of Georgia it’s actually a higher match, because it’s based on poverty level and population. So that means that for every person who’s eligible for Medicaid in Georgia, if you’re eligible, you get the benefit,” said Corso. “Moving to a per capita system is very different. It means that the federal government is going to give the state of Georgia a set amount of money per beneficiary, period. And once that money is spent, nobody gets benefits, it’s done. It’s like a block grant versus an entitlement program.”

Corso said the state would have to take action to either fill the money gap or reduce the number of people eligible for Medicaid. Georgia is not one of the states who expanded Medicaid under Obamacare.

Corso also discussed a new source of state funding under the plan: “There are a couple of things that have been added to this legislation to help out states like Georgia. The first one is called the Patient and State Stability fund, They’re basically giving a big pot of money, all states will get some of this money, to let the states use as they will to help them deal with this change in Medicaid.”

The healthcare bill is expected to move to the Budget Committee and Rules Committee in the House this week.

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