Warnock says Medicaid expansion is a matter of ‘life or death’ for Georgians
understand. john osoff And Rafael Warnock said Tuesday that Medicaid expansion is a top priority for him because Democrats Try to come to an agreement on his reconciliation bill before President Biden leaves the country for a climate conference on Thursday.
“That’s what’s at stake,” Warnock, D-Ga. told reporters on Tuesday after relaying a story about a woman who died because she could not afford health care. “That’s what we’re talking about. Life or death.”
Georgia is one of a dozen US states that have not taken advantage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) option for states to expand the availability of Medicaid. and Warnock and Osoff, D-Ga. In its runoff election victory earlier this year, the U.S. campaigned for the option of taking Medicaid out of the hands of states.
But they have gone against Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.V.A., who is against the inclusion of expanded Medicaid in the Democrats’ massive reconciliation spending spree. Manchin says it would unfairly reward states like Georgia that didn’t expand Medicaid under the ACA. States like West Virginia, which expanded Medicaid, are paying 10% of the cost of that program, while Georgia would pay nothing under Osoff and Warnock’s proposal.
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“Georgians are paying taxes for health care they can’t access while subsidizing health care in West Virginia,” Warnock responded Tuesday.
Neither Georgia senator will explicitly say he will vote against Democrats’ reconciliation bill if it does not include Tuesday’s Medicaid expansion. But he clarified that this is a major demand for him.
“No senator’s vote should be taken lightly,” Osoff said on whether he would withdraw his vote on the bill if Medicaid expansion is not included.
“We’re going to look at Total,” Bill Warnock said in response to a similar question.
“But we have been consistently clear,” Warnock continued, that Medicaid expansion is a major issue.
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Warnock also said they are “integrated into our commitment to ensuring that Medicaid expansion lives up to this bill.”
“We’re fighting for it,” Osoff said. “Thousands of our constituents in Georgia are suffering from a lack of health care.”
Medicaid is one of many issues Democrats are trying to come to an agreement this week. House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD, told reporters he believes it is possible for Democrats to reach a settlement within hours. But it is not clear how this is possible with so much being in the air.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore. said on Tuesday that his committee would release details of its corporate minimum tax proposal and its billionaire unrealized profit tax proposal on Tuesday night. It is not clear whether this will be merely a framework or an actual legislative text.
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Meanwhile, questions remain about Democrats’ IRS bank account reporting proposal and new immigration policies.
Granthshala Business’ Carolyn Mackie and Hilary Vaughan contributed to this report.