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More Georgians signing up for Obamacare, state poll supports Medicaid expansion

Republican Gov. Nathan Deal has continued to resist expanding Medicaid in Georgia.
Republican Gov. Nathan Deal has continued to resist expanding Medicaid in Georgia.

On Monday, January 13, Georgia's largest television station, WSB-TV, reported that the Department of Health and Human Services has released figures outlining how many people have signed up for health insurance through the federally operated marketplace.

Officials said Monday that more than 58,600 Georgians have signed up for coverage as of Dec. 28.

The marketplace was launched on Oct. 1.

In a breakdown of who is signing up for the Affordable Care Act in Georgia, officials report that fifty-seven percent of enrollees are women and men represent forty-three percent.

Health and Human Services officials say that on a national level enrollment numbers have grown 'eight-fold' last month in the number of people between the ages of 18 and 34 selecting plans through the federal marketplace.

With the General Assembly in session, Georgia Republicans want to reaffirm their opposition to the Affordable Care Act and its implementation.

In December, a cadre of state Republicans publicly said that want to replicate what other states with Republican-led state houses in regard to the Affordable Care Act. For many Republicans, it is a movement to repeal 'Obamacare'.

“Our (proposed legislation) simply says the state of Georgia and any political entity, any agency, any public university or college will simply not be able to implement Obamacare at all,” said lead sponsor Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, in a news conference on the state Capitol steps.

“We’re telling the Obama administration: ‘If you want the ACA in Georgia, you’re going to pay for it and you’re going to implement it. And don’t expect aid from Georgia in doing so,” said co-sponsor state Rep. Michael Caldwell, R-Woodstock

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which was passed through a Democratic Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in March 2010.

The continued resistance by Georgia Republicans will be a campaign issue in 2014, especially in congressional, U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races.

In the Atlanta Journal Constitution, poll results suggest six of ten Georgians are in favor of Medicaid expansion.

However, Republican Governor Nathan Deal and Georgia Republicans have resisted in expanding Medicaid and opt to do nothing on the state level.

Deal has continued to keep the stance that the Peach State cannot afford to expand Medicaid, despite the federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost for three years and 90 percent permanently after three years.

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