Georgia governor: Don’t punish states that refused expansion

ATLANTA (AP) – Gov. Nathan Deal says he doesn’t want Georgia and other states that didn’t expand Medicaid coverage to be “punished” under proposed changes to federal health care law.

Deal, a Republican, said Wednesday that he’s not certain that would happen under the proposal backed by congressional Republicans and the White House. But he wants non-expansion states like Georgia to be considered.

An analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released on Monday said the plan would lead to 24 million Americans losing health care coverage by 2026.

Deal said he doesn’t regret refusing Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. He has argued that it was too expensive long term.

Deal added on Wednesday that other states may now be forced to “take away” Medicaid coverage from people included in expansion.

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