By Nia Mitchell, MPH, CPH
Georgians voting on the Democratic Party ballot overwhelmingly voiced their support for Medicaid expansion during yesterday’s primary election. Preliminary results show that over 88% were in favor of federal tax dollars being returned to Georgia to fund Medicaid expansion.
SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW is excited to debut four factsheets with contributions from the Atlanta Chapter of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) highlighting the importance of Medicaid expansion on African American Women and LGBTQQ African Americans in Georgia.
Although more than 300,000 Georgians obtained health insurance through the federal healthcare exchange, more than twice as many are without health insurance because Governor Nathan Deal refused to expand Medicaid. Additionally, he signed two House Bills (i.e., HB 990 and HB 943) that create legislative barriers to getting healthcare coverage to uninsured low-income Georgians. HB 990 shifts the power to expand Medicaid from the Office of the Governor to the legislature and HB 943 prevents “any state or local governments, agencies or employees” from advocating for Medicaid expansion or creating a health insurance exchange. It also prohibits state organizations such as the University of Georgia, which has one of the largest navigator programs in the state, from running health insurance navigator programs.
Not only did Governor Deal undoubtedly demonstrate that he does not care about the health and well-being of Georgians, but he acted in a way that was in complete opposition to how Georgians felt about the issue. According to the 2014 Georgia’s State of the State Poll (GSSP), almost 60% of Georgians opposed the decision to decline Medicaid expansion. This disagreement was higher among women (64.9%) and African Americans (82.9%).
As the SPEAK Justice Take Action Field Director, I, along with the SPARK team are listening to the stories of those continuing to be impacted by the coverage gap and fighting fiercely for all Georgians to have access to the health security they deserve. You can join this fight by
- Signing the petition for Medicaid expansion at CoverGA.org and tell our officials all Georgians deserve healthcare!
- Joining SPARK, the Atlanta Chapter of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and Moral Monday Georgia as we stand up for health equity
- Visiting www.sparkrj.org to join our mailing list for the latest news, upcoming events, and opportunities to volunteer as we continue this push for healthy families!
Stay informed, and share the information by downloading these free materials on how Medicaid Expansion will benefit uninsured, low-income African American women, and LGBTQQ African-Americans. And, check out the Medicaid Counter demonstrating how much revenue is lost each day Georgia does not accept the Federal funding to expand the program.
Infographic - Making the Case for Medicaid Expansion for African Americans in Georgia – Currently, there are 594,600 African Americans uninsured in Georgians.
Why Medicaid Expansion Matters to African American Women in Georgia – More than a quarter of the 838,000 uninsured women in Georgia are African American.
Why Medicaid Expansion Matters to LGBTQQ African Americans in Georgia – The African-American LGBTQQ community is less likely to have health insurance than non-LGBTQQ African-American.
Benefits of ACA for African-American Women and LGBTQQ African-Americans – Because of the ACA, more African American women and LGBTQQ African Americans have health insurance, cannot be discriminated against by health insurance companies, and have access to preventive services with no out of cost pocket.
You can download these tools and more from our “Resources” page.