Hospital officials and advocates for patients say Gov. Nathan Deal's decision to reject the expansion of Medicaid prescribed by the Affordable Care Act would leave thousands of the poorest Georgians uninsured.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the governor's decision would also threaten the bottom lines of hospitals that were counting on new income from the changes.
Deal's spokesman noted Wednesday that the governor might agree to expand Medicaid if the federal government gave Georgia a "block grant" of money and the freedom to tailor the program as it saw fit — none of which is currently in the health care law.
Without that flexibility, Deal believes the state could not afford the expansion.