Ga. GOP Leaders Propose Temporary PeachCare Fix

Gov. Sonny Perdue and Republican legislative leaders have agreed to a temporary fix for PeachCare, allowing some 273,000 poor children in Georgia to continue receiving health insurance even as federal dollars dry up.

Georgia is facing a $131 million shortfall in federal money for the program. The state stopped enrolling new children in PeachCare this week because of the crunch.

While Democratic leaders in Congress have said they will provide the needed funds to Georgia and 13 other states facing shortfalls under the federal State Children’s Health Insurance Program, they are not likely to deliver before PeachCare runs out of money at the end of this month.

The solution agreed to on Tuesday by Perdue, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker Glenn Richardson would allow the state to shift Medicaid dollars in the state budget into PeachCare until Congress provides the additional money.

The bill proposed by the Republicans would not move children into the Medicaid program. Instead it would change state law to allow Georgia to borrow state funds already budgeted for Medicaid to PeachCare.