I was just watching coverage of today’s healthcare ruling on WSB-TV and the Governor’s office has put out their latest numbers about the Medicaid expansion. They anticipate that roughly 620,000 additional Georgians will gain healthcare access, and that over a ten year period it will cost Georgia taxpayers $4.5 billion. I’m no math expert (actually I am) but I ran the numbers and what the Governor’s office is basically saying is that 620,000 Georgians that currently don’t have healthcare now will soon have it at an annual cost to state taxpayers of $725/newly insured. For all taxpayers it’s a tax increase of $50/year.
And it means that (same newscast) a large part of the $200 million of healthcare that Grady Hospital “gives” away each year will now be paid for – by a combination of these patients now having insurance and having a way to pay or having a way to pay for cheaper alternatives like preventative care or urgent care.
Now, I hate giving Republicans advice. But 620,000 Georgians getting health insurance that don’t currently have it for $725/person. For $50/year per taxpayer? Saving Georgia hospitals a billion dollars a year? Getting a chance to put their own Georgia spin on the program and show how it can cost less than the federal government mandates or other states run by liberals are spending? I’d figure out a way to run on that. And based on some of Gov. Deal’s hedging comments, I think he’s already trying to figure that out.
Or, you can listen to the Tea Party and give Democrats the opening they need to get some of those 620,000 uninsured the reason to show up in an odd year election. The demographics in this state are already getting better every year, and even in the worst Democratic year in most of our lifetimes (2010) we were only short by about 1/3 of that total. Your choice guys!