U.S. Senate Democrats dive into details of surprise 725-page reconciliation bill

By: - July 29, 2022 1:00 am

The Democrats’ new budget reconciliation package would address climate change and invest in energy projects. Getty Images

No Medicaid work-around

Among the measures left out of the package was a federal work-around for Medicaid expansion in holdout states like Georgia. The proposal made it into the Biden administration’s social spending and climate bill last year, with Georgia Democrats pressing hard for its inclusion.

Georgia advocates continued to push for the proposal Thursday even as they celebrated the proposed three-year extension of the pandemic-era enhanced premium tax credits that did make it into the plan.

“It’s really pivotal for middle and low income Georgians,” Leah Chan, senior health care policy analyst with the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, said of the enhanced tax credits.

“I think that what’s missing from this reconciliation tax package, though, is access to affordable care for Georgians living in poverty. It really leaves those folks out because it fails to include a federal fix to closing the coverage gap,” she added. “It has always been urgent, and it is urgent now more than ever for it to be included.”

Southerners for Medicaid Expansion, which includes Georgia advocates, argued the broader health care coverage is especially needed as several states that did not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act move to restrict access to abortion. Georgia’s six-week ban abruptly took effect last week.

“The proposed deal would abandon our communities at a time when growing abortion restrictions make access to comprehensive health care even more urgent,” the group said in a statement. “It would leave low-wage workers who currently shoulder the highest health care costs and heaviest health consequences with no help whatsoever.”

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Jennifer Shutt
Jennifer Shutt

Jennifer covers the nation’s capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Her coverage areas include congressional policy, politics and legal challenges with a focus on health care, unemployment, housing and aid to families.

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