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Federal Level:
Yesterday, the U.S. House passed H.R. 2, which would repeal the new health law, the Affordable Care Act. The final vote was 245 for and 189 against. Senate Democrats have indicated that this legislation will not be brought to a vote in the Senate Chamber, which means that the bill will not move any further.

State Level:
Thursday, Commissioner Cook presented the Amended Budget for FY2011 and the proposed Budget for FY2012 for the Department of Community Health. The AFY2011 Budget did not contain many significant changes. Within the SFY2012 budget are the following provisions that may negatively impact children:

• Reduction in Medicaid/Peachcare reimbursement rate by 1% for all providers excluding hospital and home and community-based services (note that budget presentations last year projected a significantly higher reduction rate);
• Implementation of new copayments for PeachCare for Kids members age 6 and older and also for certain members within the Medicaid program; and
• Discontinuation of the Babies Born Healthy Program, which provides for prenatal care for pregnant women who often cannot otherwise access health care services.

The SFY2012 budget also has some provisions that will benefit children in Georgia. For one, DCH indicates an anticipated $6 million in federal performance bonus dollars that will be received once the state implements family-friendly administrative changes to enrollment and retention practices for children within the Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids programs. In addition, the budget includes $10 million in a bond amount that will draw down an additional $90 million in federal match dollars, all of which will be used to make improvements to Georgia’s Medicaid eligibility system.

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