ICYMI: Stacey Abrams Laser-Focused on Medicaid Expansion
Today, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution detailed how Stacey Abrams is prioritizing Medicaid expansion during her campaign for governor of Georgia.
“I’m going to talk about Medicaid expansion every chance I get,” Abrams said at a recent event.
On the first stop of her statewide tour, Abrams pointed to a small rural hospital that closed due to financial problems amidst a pandemic when Georgians desperately needed care.
“Medicaid expansion isn’t just a tagline,” she said at another early stop. “It’s the biggest economic development project in Georgia history.”
According to recent estimates, full Medicaid expansion could cover at least 400,000 more Georgians in need of health insurance.
Meanwhile, both Gov. Brian Kemp and David Perdue vehemently opposed Medicaid expansion.
Read key excerpts from the article below.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Stacey Abrams leans into Medicaid expansion as new bid for governor begins
Already a household name to many liberal Democrats, she’s so far put her pledge to expand Medicaid — an issue aimed at a broader slice of the electorate — above all other policies.
Pressed by questions on the campaign trail about economic equality, rural development or even infrastructure, Abrams regularly connects her answer to a promise to add hundreds of thousands of Georgians to the Medicaid rolls. She makes no excuses for the relentless message.
“I’m going to talk about Medicaid expansion every chance I get,” she said at a recent fundraiser.
Faced with a Donald Trump-backed challenge from former U.S. Sen. David Perdue, the governor has staunchly opposed the expansion as too costly in the long run, since it requires the state to pick up 10% of the cost of expansion.
The governor’s proposal would wind up covering about 50,000 of Georgia’s poor adults. A full Medicaid expansion could cover at least 400,000 additional Georgians in need of health insurance, according to estimates.
Now she has cemented herself as a hero in the minds of many liberals and has built a fundraising juggernaut to match her national profile. In the first two months of her campaign, she raised more campaign cash than Kemp did over a seven-month span.
Her newly updated website includes broad policy stances designed to excite the base. She endorsed universal pre-kindergarten, promised to repeal expansions of firearms laws, vouched for a new tax credit for working-class families and pledged to set a standard minimum salary for all law enforcement officers.
But on the campaign trail she’s focused almost exclusively on health care, underscoring her belief that the issue is more important than ever to voters living through a coronavirus pandemic that’s claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Georgians.
She began her first statewide tour in rural Randolph County, where she highlighted the plight of a tiny hospital in Cuthbert that shuttered in late 2020 amid crippling financial problems at a time when the community sorely needed it.
“Medicaid expansion isn’t just a tagline,” she said at one of her early stops. “It’s the biggest economic development project in Georgia history.”
Of course, Trump looms large over this race, too. He predicted at a weekend rally in Commerce that his supporters in Georgia wouldn’t back Kemp in November if he’s the nominee.
Abrams greeted Trump’s visit with silence. In fact, she has scarcely mentioned the former president at all, instead lacing her speeches with attacks against Kemp — and shared personal stories about her father, who was recently hospitalized with a severe illness while staying at Abrams’ Atlanta home.
“It makes no sense in the state of Georgia if he’d been a few miles away, or a few counties away, my father would not be with us here today,” she said. “That is a solvable problem, and by God’s love for Georgia, I’m going to fix it.”