The new U.S. Senate health care bill made public for the first time Thursday on Capitol Hill could drastically affect Georgia.
Georgia State University professor Bill Custer said it could mean more Georgians losing coverage. Even more than the 720,000 he estimated would be without coverage based on his analysis of a bipartisan report on the health care bill passed by the House last month.
"It's hard to find a good deal of things that would benefit Georgia from this [Senate] bill,” Custer said.
He said cuts to Medicaid and reduced insurance subsidies in the bill would hit Georgia especially hard.
"Over ten years the Senate bill actually reduces federal expenditures for Medicaid more than the House bill did,” Custer said.
That means Georgia lawmakers could have to decide whether to spend more taxpayer money on healthcare, or cut services, he said.
"The bill overall puts a lot more burden on the state to make choices.”
Custer stressed the effect of the bill depends largely on how the state reacts.
It’s not clear yet whether Georgia’s U.S. senators support the bill.
“I am fully and thoroughly reviewing the draft of the Republican health care plan that was released today. The stark reality remains that if we do nothing, Obamacare will fail, and Americans will suffer,” Republican Johnny Isakson said in a statement.
Republican David Perdue and his office did not directly comment on the Senate’s health care bill.
“Obamacare is still the law of the land and Senator Perdue is carefully reviewing ways we can try to fix this failing system,” a spokesperson wrote in an email.