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Opinion: American Rescue Plan will help so many Georgians
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Northeast Georgia Medical Center RN Rachael Buys checks patient Chris Smith Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. Each patient room in the hospital contains a dedicated computer loaded with new EPIC software which streamlines patient data so that their medical information can be view-able to all the care givers who use that system. - photo by Scott Rogers

The American Rescue Plan was signed into law on Friday, March 11. It is the most significant bill since Lyndon B. Johnson passed the bill to begin Medicare, which brought millions of seniors out of poverty. The bill provides many areas of help to all low- and middle-income Americans who have suffered during this pandemic. One of the most important provisions are the funds for states like Georgia to expand Medicaid with no additional cost to their budget (500,000 Georgians would get access to health care.) Georgia must step up and expand Medicaid for our long-suffering fellow Georgians. It is time to stop playing politics with the lives of the people of Georgia!

Many worry that our country can’t afford this bill. But you must remember that Trump’s tax cuts cost us $1.9 trillion! Some 83% of the tax cuts went to the top 1% of the wealthy in America. Trump promised that this tax cut would pay for itself by creating a more robust economy. That didn’t happen! The wealthy kept their money and bought more stocks, and the corporations did the same with stock buybacks. Economic growth for everyday Americans was terribly slow. The only thing that went up substantially was the stock market, which benefited the wealthy mostly. But, with the Biden American Rescue Plan, the money will be going to low-and middle-income individuals and families who will use it to buy things like food, clothing, medicine, medical care, meals out and transportation. People who have health insurance through the Obamacare exchange (the Affordable Care Act) will see their premiums slashed. One woman reported that her monthly premium had been $400 a month, and it has been slashed to $60 a month. Also, the number of people who can get free insurance will go up as people whose income is up to 150% of the poverty level will pay no premium. Millions of people will go back to work, the economy will boom and better jobs that bring more income taxes paid will help pay for the rescue plan! Below are more provisions of the bill:

  • Tens of billions of dollars to industries struggling in the pandemic has already led airlines to cancel at least 27,000 planned furloughs.
  • Expanded unemployment insurance through September.
  • Direct payments of $1,400 to low- to middle-income American adults and children
  • Relief for state, local and tribal governments
  • Massively expanding Obamacare subsidies
  • Expanding food stamps
  • Emergency rental assistance
  • New section 8 housing vouchers
  • Expanding child tax credits for low-income families
  • Assistance to public schools

Thank you, Georgia for sending two new U.S. senators to D.C. so the passage of this remarkable bill would be possible. Now, let’s expand Medicaid for all Georgians so 500,000 more Georgians will have access to affordable health care!

Bette Holland

Dawsonville

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