The Georgia Federation of Democratic Women is conducting a letter-writing campaign trying to convince Governor Nathan Deal to expand Medicaid in the state.
They say accepting $40.5 billion from the federal government will help hundreds of thousands of Georgians without healthcare and could generate 70 thousand jobs.
Federation President Gail Buckner says too many poor people in Georgia have no health insurance. She says they wait until they are really sick, then go to the emergency room, which puts pressure on hospitals who provide care with no reimbursement.
Buckner points out 3 rural hospitals have already closed in Georgia, and more are in danger of closing.
But their arguments aren’t swaying Governor Deal. Spokesman Brian Robinson says Deal is not changing his mind. He says that expanding Medicaid cost the state $2.5 billion over 10 years.
“ Democrats need to take their demands to the Obama administration. The concerns they raise could be easily fixed in Washington without slashing a big hole in the state's purse,” said Robinson.
But Carlotta Harrell, president of the Henry County Federation of Democratic Women, says Governor Deal is out of touch with the vast majority of Georgians.
“ We are here today to ask Governor Deal to accept the federal funding. I am asking Georgians, the working class and the poor, to hold this administration responsible. Or we will vote them out in November, 2014,” said Harrell.
Sonji Jordan of Dawsonville suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. She is one of the Georgians who would qualify under an expanded Medicaid program. She says if it wasn’t for help from the Sheppard Center in Atlanta, she wouldn’t be able to get her medication.
Right now, she doesn’t have health insurance.