It’s just the second full week of the 40-day session, and state Rep. Christian Coomer, R-Cartersville, said many members of the House will be filing their sponsored bills of interest and begin helping them move forward.
Coomer, a floor leader for Gov. Nathan Deal, said most of this week in the House will be focused on taking up the hospital provider fee after the Senate passed a bill Jan. 17 to extend collection of the charge.
A hearing by the House Governmental Affairs committee on the bill is planned Wednesday and Coomer hopes it will be put to a vote in the full House by the end of the week.
“There is a flurry of legislation that will be filed throughout this week,” Coomer said. “As far as any official action, however, the hospital provider fee bill is the only one.”
The House has its own version of the Senate’s Hospital Medicaid Financing Program Act — House Bill 51.
Both pieces of legislation would keep in place a 1.4-percent fee that Georgia hospitals pay on their overall gross receipts to provide funds for the Medicaid program. The federal government then provides $2 for every $1 from that amount to go into the state’s Medicaid coffers. The fee is set to expire in July.
“The downside, if it does expire, is there will be a $600 million hole in the state’s Medicaid budget,” said Coomer, who is co-sponsoring the House bill. “It creates approximately $200 million for the state’s Medicaid program.”
The Senate reconvenes at 10 a.m. Monday while the House will start at 1 p.m.