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Letter to the Editor: Republican policies continue to hurt Georgians
Opinion

Policies by Trump and by Gov. Kemp are hurting Georgians.  Here is how.

Gov. Kemp campaigned on a promise to strengthen health care for Georgians. Instead, his newest proposal would set tough eligibility requirements and would lead to only a fraction of low-income people receiving health insurance. The eventual enrollment projections under his 1115 waiver plan would enroll just 50,000 Georgians. That would leave 408,000 uninsured adults. The plan has strict eligibility requirements. Basically, to get the insurance Georgians have to have a job, be a volunteer, or be in school 80 hours a month. For many who need Medicaid, they are not working because they can’t! Either they have a chronic physical or mental condition, or they have been seriously injured. Also, single Moms and caregivers who have to stay home to care for children, spouses or parents will not be able to get Medicaid. Kemp and his supporters say that this plan would get hard-working Georgians who deserve help a chance to get medical care. So I guess in their world sick or injured Georgians or single moms and caregivers don’t deserve help.  In addition, Kemp wants to charge $11 a month for Medicaid.  That means that a person making $11,000 a year would be paying a higher percentage for Medicaid than some making $100,000 a year pays for Medicare!  This plan would also not help rural hospitals that are steadily closing because they have to provide free care for people without insurance. Expanding Medicaid would help them stay open. Go to https://www.georgiahealthnews.com/2019/11/little-kemp-proposal-cover-georgians-takes-flak/ for more details.

Farmers in Georgia and the Midwest are being hurt by Trump's policies. Trump won partly on the promise of a better life for people who earned their living farming. Instead, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, farm bankruptcies are up 24% this year as farmers grapple with the effects of Donald Trump’s trade war and the devastating weather challenges that delayed planting and hindered harvests. To help with the disastrous effects of Trump's trade war, the administration has sent government subsidies to these farms. 

To help with the effects of climate change—more torrential rains in the Midwest which delayed planting and history-making storms in South Georgia, the feds have provided insurance payments or subsidies. The federation’s chief economist, John Newton, told Oregon Public Radio, “We’ve seen low crop prices, low livestock prices for a number of years now”. Some $33 billion of an expected total $88 billion in farm income this year will be provided by trade assistance, disaster assistance, the farm bill, and insurance indemnities. Much of that money has yet to be paid out.

Farm debt this year is also projected to be a record-high $416 billion, with $257 billion in real estate debt and $159 billion in other loans. 

Remember, your vote matters! When you vote for a Republican you are voting for policies that are not in the favor of regular Americans. The so-called middle-class tax break gave the richest in American 83% of the cash from the new tax law as corporations are making record profits. All the while the rest of us get what is described in this editorial.

Bette Holland

Dawson County