That additional coverage would do wonders for the medical industry, again especially in rural areas of Georgia, where a lack of hospitals and doctors has become an economic development challenge.
According to economic modeling by William Custer, a health-finance expert at Georgia State University, Georgia would receive an additional $40.5 billion in Medicaid funds from 2014-2023 if it were to participate. That in turn would create more than 70,000 new jobs, add an average $8.2 billion to statewide economic output and generate $276.5 million annually in state and local taxes.
A lot of that impact would have occurred in parts of the state where new jobs are scarce. It would have meant more than 4,000 additional jobs in the Albany area, for example, and more than 6,000 new jobs in northwest Georgia. In northeast Georgia, which includes Deal’s home of Hall County, more than 3,500 jobs would be created.
Let me venture out on a limb here: If the federal government were offering to move a massive military base to Georgia that brought 70,000 new civilian jobs and an $8 billion annual economic impact, our state leaders would be doing cartwheels at the offer (and yes, with some of them that mental image is amusing). Yet when a similar offer is made involving medical insurance to poor people, they turn up their dainty noses in disdain. Apparently, loyalty to party ideology is more important to them than the economic and medical well-being of the people of this state.
As a consequence, taxpayers in Georgia will now be subsidizing expanded Medicaid in other states, where they need it less, while enjoying none of the economic benefits here at home. In fact, it’s already pretty clear that those states that have treated ObamaCare as an opportunity will maximize the program’s benefits for their citizens, while Georgia and others that have stubbornly tried to sabotage it will fare far worse.
I’m not sure why anybody would be surprised by that.