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In Face of Potential Program Cuts, Majority of Georgians Support PeachCare for Kids

 

                                                            

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 CONTACT:
  Demeika Thompson
Porter Novelli
404-995-4504
 

                    Healthcare Georgia Foundation Survey Reveals Georgians Believe the State                                     Children's Insurance Program is Important for Children


Atlanta, Georgia – May 8, 2007 – More than 80 percent of Georgians are in favor of expanding PeachCare for Kids, the state’s program providing health care coverage to children, according to a recent survey conducted by the Survey Research Center of the University of Georgia on behalf of Healthcare Georgia Foundation. PeachCare provides health insurance for children in families earning too much to qualify for Medicaid, but without access to affordable private insurance. The 2007 Georgia General Assembly considered a series of changes to the eligibility and program structure of PeachCare for Kids, among them, reducing income eligibility from 235 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) to 200 percent FPL ($34,340 for a family of three).

“Any changes to PeachCare for Kids will have a direct impact on the health and wellness of Georgia’s children,” says Dr. Gary Nelson, president of Healthcare Georgia Foundation. “As a state, we need to decide what kind of commitment Georgians are willing to make to the future of our children.”

To gauge public perception of the PeachCare for Kids program, Healthcare Georgia Foundation commissioned the survey of 500 Georgia residents ages 18 and older who are representative of all adults in the state. The survey found:

  • More than 96 percent of respondents agreed that all children should have the health care they need to grow and learn.
  • More than 95 percent of respondents agreed that PeachCare for Kids is important in ensuring that children in working families can continue getting the health services they need, especially with fewer companies these days providing health coverage for their workers and their families.
  • Georgians are willing to invest in health care, and believe the state should as well. More than 66 percent of respondents believed that Georgia spends too little on health care and three-fourths of respondents (75.3 percent) strongly or somewhat oppose focusing on cutting taxes rather than spending more on children’s health coverage.
  • Regarding funding alternatives, 80 percent of respondents strongly supported or somewhat supported expanding the program so that more uninsured children in Georgia can get health care coverage. Only 17 percent of respondents favored cutting the program and using the funds to support other priorities.

 
“These survey results reinforce that Georgians are keenly aware of the benefits PeachCare for Kids provides our children, and they believe it is a smart way to invest in their future,” says Dr. Nelson. “As Georgia policymakers consider major changes in PeachCare, they need to be in alignment with Georgia residents who expect the state to make a lasting commitment to caring for Georgia’s children.”

The questionnaire and tabulations of the PeachCare for Kids survey, conducted by the Survey Research Center of the University of Georgia, can be found at www.src.uga.edu. Key data highlights are included below.

About Healthcare Georgia Foundation
Healthcare Georgia Foundation is a statewide, private independent foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to advance the health of all Georgians and to expand access to affordable, quality healthcare for underserved individuals and communities. Through its strategic grantmaking, Healthcare Georgia Foundation supports organizations that drive positive change, promotes programs that improve health and healthcare among underserved individuals and communities, and connects people, partners and resources across Georgia. For more information, please visit the Foundation online at: www.healthcaregeorgia.org.

Key Survey Data Highlights:

  • Georgians are willing to invest in health care, and believe the state should as well. More than 66 percent of respondents believed that Georgia spends too little on health care and three-fourths of respondents (75.3 percent) strongly or somewhat oppose focusing on cutting taxes rather than spending more on children’s health coverage.
  • Regarding funding alternatives, 80 percent of respondents strongly supported or somewhat supported expanding the program so that more uninsured children in Georgia can get health care coverage. Only 17 percent of respondents favored cutting the program and using the funds to support other priorities.