As of Friday, January 18, 2013
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ATLANTA — The Georgia Senate has passed Gov. Nathan Deal's proposal to shore up the state's Medicaid system without having lawmakers approve an explicit tax to generate the money.
The 46-9 vote sends Senate Bill 24 to the House just days into the General Assembly's annual session, which began Monday.
The proposal calls for an appointed state health policy board to set assessments on Georgia hospitals, with money then being used to secure additional federal support for the Medicaid insurance program. The plan would replace an expiring tax on hospitals' net patient revenue that qualifies for about $450 million in federal support. Lawmakers don't want to lose the money, but want to avoid renewing a tax.
The latest version would give lawmakers indirect control over the assessment rates set by the board.