ATLANTA - Gov. Nathan Deal has signed into a law his plan to extend a key piece of Medicaid insurance funding without explicitly extending a tax on hospitals.
The new law allows a state health board of the governor's appointees to tax Georgia hospitals' net patient revenue, rather than have the legislature do it. The money then will be used to qualify for federal Medicaid support. The new scheme will replace an existing tax that the General Assembly approved in 2010. That tax expires June 30.
Lawmakers didn't want to lose $450 million in annual federal Medicaid money secured by the tax. But many of them, particularly Republicans, also feared primary challenges in 2014 if they voted to extend that setup.
Hospital executives support the compromise that Deal first offered in January.