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Morgan says Medicaid expansion would help Georgia (with VIDEO)

The Daily Citizen - 10/21/2018

Oct. 21--Michael Morgan says he decided to run for elected office for the first time this year because of his son Matthew.

"Matthew is autistic," he said. "He came into this world with some disadvantages. I want a level playing field for Matthew. I want to give him the world that all of our children deserve."

Morgan, a Democrat, is challenging Republican incumbent Chuck Payne of Dalton in the Nov. 6 contest for the District 54 seat in the state Senate. District 54 includes all of Whitfield and Murray counties and parts of Gordon and Pickens counties.

Born and raised in Murray County and now a resident of Whitfield County, Morgan graduated from Berry College with a degree in history and German with minors in secondary education and psychology.

After graduating from college, Morgan worked in the carpet industry for several years. He is now a lab manager for Wacker, a German company with facilities in Tennessee that makes raw materials for solar panels and microchips.

Morgan said Georgia should expand Medicaid coverage to all adults under 65 earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Currently, Georgia limits Medicaid coverage only to people who meet certain criteria, such as parents of minor children or pregnant women.

The left-leaning Georgia Budget and Policy Institute estimates some 473,000 Georgians would gain health insurance under the expansion. The federal government would cover 90 percent of the cost of the expansion.

"I have a daughter who is 22 years old. In four years, she's coming off my insurance," Morgan said. "She makes decent money, not great money. It's difficult for her to maintain rent and a car payment and insurance. In four years, she's got to figure out a way to pay for (health) insurance as well. For me, this is a personal issue, and there are other people out there who are struggling. To me, if you are doing everything you can, you should be able to take your children to the doctor."

Some have suggested that conservative lawmakers who have resisted expanding Medicaid might be brought on board if it is married to a requirement that people show they are working, actively looking for work or in job training. Morgan said he could support such a requirement as long as it did not apply to the elderly or those with disabilities.

Morgan said he supports "common-sense" gun regulations.

"Democrats aren't coming for your gun," he said. "I'm teaching my boy about guns. But I do think we ought to think about background checks."

Under current law, those buying guns from federally licensed dealers must undergo a background check. But those who buy from a private individual don't have to undergo a background check. Morgan said he would like to change that.

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(c)2018 The Daily Citizen (Dalton, Ga.)

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