The Union Recorder

Homepage

February 3, 2013

Ga. House adopts Medicaid financing fix

ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal scored a key budget victory as the House of Representatives approved his plan to avoid losing more than $450 million in federal money for the Medicaid insurance program.

The 147-18 vote sends Senate Bill 24 to Deal's desk for his certain signature, and it completes a two-week whirlwind for an issue that once promised to dominate the General Assembly's session as lawmakers sought to avoid steep health care cuts without explicitly voting for a tax.

The measure will allow an appointed state board to levy a tax on Georgia hospitals' net patient revenue with the money being used as state match to qualify for federal Medicaid support. That structure will replace an existing tax that the Assembly imposed in 2010 amid sagging revenues wrought by the Great Recession. That levy expires June 30, the end of the state's budget year.

Both concepts reach the same end: parlaying Georgia health-care money into even more money that is plowed back into the same system through higher payments for treating Medicaid patients. Deal and legislative leaders pitched the vote as an absolute necessity.

"This was a tough vote today, but our members did the right thing," House Speaker David Ralston said.

Georgia's Medicaid program serves more than 1.5 million people at a cost of about $5.8 billion to federal taxpayers and $2.6 billion to the Georgia treasury. Most of the beneficiaries are children, elderly adults or disabled adults from low-income households.

With the current scheme accounting for about 8 percent of the program, legislators came into their annual session under competing pressures.

The hospital industry, physicians and other health-care providers wanted some kind of extension of the existing tax — which is 1.45 percent of net patient revenue — to prevent Medicaid payment cuts to local hospitals and physician practices. But anti-government activist and national GOP powerbroker Grover Norquist publicly urged lawmakers not to extend the tax.

Text Only
Local News
04-03 Food Depot 3.JPG

Contractors are working inside the former Winn Dixie building on North Columbia Street. The City of Milledgeville confirmed that independent grocer Food Depot is looking at the building and recently purchased a demolition permit.

Features
UR_20140419_B001.jpg

Business
Between the Lines.JPG

Cade Bass practices her pitching technique at the newly opened Between the Lines 8,000-square foot indoor facility located inside the Columbia Center at 611 Hammock Rd. Members gain 24-hour access to the batting cages, tee work and soft toss training stations, pitching rubber and areas for various agility and other sport-related fitness activities.

Local Sports
04-19 Grigley signing 1.JPG

Baldwin High track and field senior Alashawn Grigley signed her National Letter of Intent to attend Jackson State University Thursday with teammates, family and supportive coaches present.

Editorials
Columns
Letters
Local Weather Radar
Poll
AP Video
Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
Peeps Launched into Outer Space Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Stephen Colbert Dishes With Letterman NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Raw: Keflezighi, Jeptoo Win Boston Marathon