18 patient and consumer groups issued the following statement regarding the Administration’s announcement of the approval of Georgia’s 1115 waiver and pending approval of the state’s 1332 waiver. Georgia is the only state that has chosen to rely on legally questionable Administration guidance issued in October 2018 that our organizations strongly opposed.
“Our organizations strongly oppose the action taken today to move forward with two proposals that add barriers to enrolling in Medicaid coverage as well as jeopardize the ability of patients who purchase coverage through Healthcare.gov to access care.
“The Medicaid proposal approved today is not Medicaid expansion. Instead, it would provide coverage to just a fraction of the individuals who could access coverage if the state fully expanded Medicaid. Furthermore, the work reporting mandate provides no pathway to coverage for patients who have serious health conditions that prevent them from working. This discrimination against patients with pre-existing conditions is unacceptable.
“Upon final approval, the so-called “Georgia Access” Model would reduce access to comprehensive health insurance by prohibiting Georgians from using Healthcare.gov to enroll in coverage. The state’s plan will encourage the sale of insurance products that discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions and undermine the market for comprehensive, affordable health insurance. By pursuing these plans, the state dramatically increases the risk of consumer confusion and scams, creating a high likelihood that people will lose coverage and others will enroll in substandard plans, like short-term limited-duration plans, that are inadequate for their health needs.
“This action would be problematic at any time. But it’s truly beyond comprehension that – in the midst of a pandemic and a recession – the federal government and Georgia are teaming up to reduce low-income residents’ access to healthcare. Our organizations strongly urge the Administration to halt implementation and additional approvals of these and any waivers that jeopardize patients’ access to quality and affordable healthcare.”
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
American Heart Association
American Kidney Fund
American Liver Foundation
American Lung Association
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Hemophilia Federation of America
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Lutheran Services in America
March of Dimes
Mended Hearts & Mended Little Hearts
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Hemophilia Foundation
National Kidney Foundation
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
National Patient Advocate Foundation
Susan G. Komen
The AIDS Institute
United Way Worldwide
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.