State of Georgia public health plans need another $300 million

The state agency that provides health care to millions of Georgians is asking the General Assembly for an additional $300 million to run the program.

About one-in-four Georgians receive their health care through the Department of Community Health, which runs the state’s Medicaid, PeachCare for Kids and State Health Benefit Plan programs.

The DCH board on Thursday voted to ask for the increase in spending in part because of continued growth in public health care rolls. DCH Commissioner Clyde Reese and board members raised concerns about whether the continued growth in costs is sustainable.

While the state declined to expand Medicaid eligibility under the federal Affordable Care Act, the impact of the law has brought more Georgians onto public health care rolls. DCH officials say about 2.6 million Georgians now get their health care through agency programs.

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