Shifting Medicaid expansion to the legislature?

H.B. 990 would take control of expanding Georgia's Medicaid rolls from the executive branch.

Ralston

A bill dropped Wednesday by state House leaders would shift control and negotiations of Medicaid expansion under Obamacare from the executive branch’s jurisdiction to that of the legislature.

In part, H.B. 990 states “neither the department, the board, nor any other representative of the state shall expand Medicaid eligibility under this article through an increase in the income threshold without prior legislative approval.”

It’s sponsored by President Pro Tem Jan Jones, with co-sponsors further encompassing House Republican leadership; Speaker David Ralston and Majority Leader Larry O’Neal are both signed on.

Ralston told the AJC the bill is not meant as an insult to Governor Nathan Deal, citing that one of the governor’s floor leaders, Chad Nimmer, is also a co-sponsor.

He also said it was in no way indicative of concerns that the Governor’s Mansion could fall into Democratic hands, which would surely mean expanding Medicaid rolls under the current structure.

“I’m totally confident that Nathan Deal is going to be re-elected governor. This is simply an opportunity for the Legislature to stake out the issue as policy,” the Blue Ridge Republican stated. “I have no concern about Republican governor getting elected this year, four years from now, or eight years from now.”

-Brandon Howell