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State House Gives Kemp's Medicaid Waiver Plan Final Passage

Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File

Georgia's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp could soon have wide leeway in reshaping the state's health care system under a bill given final passage by the state House.

The measure, which was approved Monday, authorizes Kemp's office to pursue a Medicaid waiver.

It'll give Georgia the flexibility to expand Medicaid more conservatively than federal rules typically allow. The legislation also caps eligibility for any Medicaid expansion to those at or below the federal poverty level, limiting the number of Georgians who could be covered.

Republicans arguing for the bill say the measure could lead to lower private insurance premiums.

Democrats worry the plan would cover fewer people and cost more than full Medicaid expansion.

Georgia is one of 14 states that haven't fully expanded Medicaid under the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

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