Sen. Raphael Warnock meets with Albany medical leaders

(ALBANY, GA) – Senator Raphael Warnock paid his first visit to the Phoebe Health System since taking office in January. And he spoke with members of the Albany medical community about a range of problems, including a lack of medicaid coverage to the closure of rural hospitals.

For local practitioners like Dr. Nedra Fortson, who runs the Samaritan Clinic, she’s seen the lack of medical coverage in her community.

“…So the fact that he has to come to a place, where we’re a free clinic, we’re an outreach ministry, speaks volumes. We have maintained him for the last 11 years,” says Fortson.

That’s why Senator Warnock says he’s working to close the medicaid gap for people like Ronald Jones, a Type 1 Diabetic who had little medical coverage.

Jones said, “In the process, I was scared, lost, and felt alone. I didn’t have any income coming in, nobody to talk to or help me out with this situation.”

Senator Warnock tells us, “State legislators ought to act. Take 450,000 Georgians out of the medicaid gap. Receive this money that’s literally sitting on the table and improve healthcare outcomes.”

While warnock says efforts combatting COVID-19 shouldn’t diminish, Georgia health systems need to start looking at closing the medicaid gap.

“Right now we are rightly focused on COVID. But what COVID-19 has done has brought into sharp focus is the disparities in healthcare,” he says.

Senator Warnock tells us he’s also co-sponsored the SAME Act to benefit the healthcare system.

SAME stands for states achieve medicaid expansion.