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{STREETZ MORNING TAKEOVER} KEMP GETS MEDICAID & OBAMACARE LAWS APPROVED

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The secretary, I mean governor is up to something…

The Georgia Legislature on Monday approved Gov. Brian Kemp’s proposal to give his office new powers to pursue “waiver” programs that could pave the way to a limited Medicaid expansion and ease insurance costs for some poor and middle-class Georgians.

A waiver will give Georgia the flexibility to expand Medicaid more conservatively than federal rules typically allow. The legislation also caps eligibility for any Medicaid expansion to those at or below the federal poverty level, limiting the number of Georgians who could be covered.

Georgia is one of 14 states that haven’t fully expanded Medicaid under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. It called for Medicaid coverage for those making slightly above the federal poverty level.

Republican Rep. Jodi Lott of Evans, Kemp’s floor leader in the House, said the bill would aim to provide health care options to Georgians below and above the federal poverty line.

“If you vote no to this legislation, we will still reevaluate Medicaid,” Lott said. “If you vote no to this legislation and it should fail, all that you’re doing is stopping those within the coverage gap — those that have remained uninsured — from getting any assistance.”

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