Steve Benen explains the (ahem!) deal down in Georgia:
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) has a problem: rural hospitals keep closing, overwhelmed by financial troubles they can’t solve on their own. The obvious solution – accepting Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act – is the one thing Deal refuses to even consider.
There is no great mystery here as to why the rural hospitals can’t keep their doors open. These facilities have routinely covered low-income Georgians who don’t have insurance, leading to facilities that can’t pay their bills. Medicaid expansion would “help rural hospitals by turning many of their uninsured patients into paying patients,” but the governor and GOP state policymakers won’t budge.
But don’t worry, Deal is ready to think outside the box.
So what’s the deal with Deal? The Georgia Republican has decided he has a problem with the 1986 EMTLA—Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act—which formalized hospital obligations to care provision. In other words, the deal is that Gov. Deal wants hospitals to stop treating the poor.
Yes, really. Sigh.