Nonprofit groups have estimated that expanding Medicaid could insure 300,000 to 600,000 Georgians.
One of the few limits the bill has written into it is that the state would not go all the way to 138 percent of the poverty level, but would only give the governor the power to propose covering the population up to 100 percent of the poverty level.
Stopping short at 100 percent of the poverty level might also mean that the federal government declines to give Georgia the special 90 percent level of federal matching funds that is reserved for states that expand Medicaid. The federal government matches regular Medicaid funds for Georgia at 67 percent.
State Rep. James Beverly, the House Minority Caucus chairman and a Democrat from Macon, said after the press conference that "I think people get stuck in their ideology and can't throw it loose." He said Kemp is "a great guy" with the wrong policy.
SB 106 flew through a Senate committee Tuesday. Should it pass the Senate, it may have a tougher time in the House.