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Your opinion: Dec, 5, 2018

Thanks for artistic talent
Sumter County Farm Bureau would like to thank Americus-Sumter High School and their art teacher, LeTitia Williams, for encouraging students to participate in our 2018 t-shirt contest. We had many submissions and all were so creative! The winner of the t-shirt design was Malia Moore, a junior at ASHS. We used Ms. Moore’s design to create a t-shirt for our Member Appreciation Day giveaway and she also received her very own t-shirt to show off the design she created. Everyone complimented the design and said what a great job Ms. Moore had done.
Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the state’s largest general farm organization. Its volunteer members actively participate in activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors. If you would like more information about agriculture or our member benefits, please visit www.gfb.org, like Georgia Farm Bureau on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @GaFarmBureau. You may also follow our local Facebook page Sumter County, Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance for local updates.
Jena Tyler
Office manager
Sumter County Farm Bureau
Americus

Please expand Medicaid in Georgia
The Incoming Governor and Legislators:
Georgia has hundreds of thousands of the working poor who fall in the gap of making too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid but not enough to participate in the federal healthcare exchange. Medicaid expansion was designed to fill this gap and provide a safety net for these low income workers.
Approximately two thirds (2/3) of the states, both red and blue, have expanded Medicaid and provided that safety net. Georgia continues to deny this protection for its working poor. The estimated annual cost of this program is $3 billion with Georgia’s portion of the cost being less
than $300 million.
Georgia’s excuse for not participating is that it would cost too much. However, many times this amount is being spent annually to provide taxpayer subsidized health insurance for elected officials, state employees, teachers and retirees. Do you deny this protection to the working poor because they have no political clout or because it is referred to as Obamacare?
If cost of the program is your concern, here are suggested funds that could be redirected in the future to expand Medicaid.
• Eliminate $100 million in tax credits for the program Casey Cagle described as wrong on many levels, but nevertheless supported for political reasons.
• Eliminate tax credits for hospitals. Medicaid expansion may benefit hospitals more than the tax credits.
• Funds for hurricane relief. Appropriate the funds only when there is a disaster, as was done this year.
I am sure there are many other areas where funds could be redirected to expand Medicaid, if there is a will to do so. Perhaps Medicaid expansion would boost the economy enough to help pay for itself. I don’t think the ruling party would want to give the perception of being mean spirited towards the working poor. The closeness of the recent election should give Georgia’s leadership adequate reason to reconsider its position on Medicaid expansion. I hope you will work across the aisle to get this done.
Robert A. Clay
DeSoto