City of Atlanta
Georgia

Resolution
20-R-4316
Adopted as Amended
Sep 21, 2020 1:00 PM

****A RESOLUTION BY COUNCILMEMBER ANTONIO BROWN AS AMENDED BY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT/HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE AND THE ATLANTA CITY COUNCIL URGING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO PASS LEGISLATION TO PROVIDE UNIVERSAL, COMPREHENSIVE HEALTHCARE COVERAGE WITH ZERO COST-SHARING FOR PATIENTS DURING PUBLIC HEALTH CRISES, SUCH AS THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, AND CALLING ON FEDERAL LEGISLATORS TO WORK TOWARD THE ENACTMENT OF LEGISLATION THAT WILL ENSURE FISCALLY FEASIBLE AND APPROPRIATE HEALTHCARE COVERAGE FOR ALL RESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Information

Department:Office of Research and Policy AnalysisSponsors:Councilmember, District 3 Antonio Brown
Category:Personal PaperFunctions:None Required

Item Discussion

(Favorable as amended by Community Development/Human Services Committee 9/15/20)

Body

WHEREAS, every person in the City of Atlanta, the state of Georgia, and the entire United States deserves high quality health care; and

 

WHEREAS, Blacks in Georgia experience death at a disproportionate rate as demonstrated by the unequal distribution of mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic and maternal mortality rates; and

 

WHEREAS, Atlanta’s population includes at least 50% who are Black and an additional 10% who are other persons of color; and 

 

WHEREAS, among Georgia residents with a credit bureau record, persons of color are more likely (23%) to have medical debt than white persons (19%); and

 

WHEREAS, among persons in Atlanta under 65 years old in 2019, more than 12% had no form of health insurance, a percentage of uninsured that has certainly increased since the massive job losses associated with the COVID pandemic; and

 

WHEREAS, among persons filing for bankruptcy in recent years, 67% reported either medical expenses or medical problems causing work loss as factors contributing to their bankruptcy; and

 

WHEREAS, Georgia has so far failed to expand its Medicaid program, thus failing to benefit from federal funds which would thereby come available for underserved Georgians needing medical care; and

 

WHEREAS, Georgia’s modest Medicaid program, while insufficient to meet the demands of the population under normal conditions, nevertheless comprises a substantial portion of the State budget, leaving Medicaid vulnerable to partisan budget debates during current pandemic circumstances; and

 

WHEREAS, the adoption of federal legislation providing expanded health insurance coverage could substantially reduce the burden on our City’s Group Insurance Fund, a municipal allocation which currently pays out over $150 million annually to the investor-owned health care intermediaries that now manage medical benefits for City employees, retirees, and dependents; and

 

WHEREAS, the current COVID-19 pandemic has led to widespread illness in Atlanta, record levels of unemployment, losses of employer-sponsored health insurance,

and taken a profound toll on our community’s mental health, all of which place huge demands on our health care system; and

 

WHEREAS, to address the health care burden of the COVID-19 public health crisis equitably and effectively, we must urge the federal government of the United States to expand health insurance coverage to provide simplified, comprehensive, tax-supported coverage to every resident of the United States without any cost sharing; and

 

WHEREAS, the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act would guarantee all residents full coverage for medically necessary health care without copays, deductibles or other out-of-pocket costs from now until an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine is widely available to the public; and

 

WHEREAS, expanding health care coverage for every American should be done in a thoughtful, fiscally responsible manner which may include expansion of Medicare partially or fully; and

 

WHEREAS, other COVID-19 relief legislation packages will be and are being considered for adoption by Congress, some of which will provide sufficient health care coverage as described above and some of which will not.

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ATLANTA, GEORGIA, that the Atlanta City Council hereby urges the federal government to pass legislation to provide universal, comprehensive healthcare coverage with zero cost-sharing for patients during public health crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Atlanta City Council endorses federal legislation such

as the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act and calls on federal legislators to work towards

the enactment of this, or substantially similar legislation, to ensure fiscally feasible and

appropriate health care coverage for all residents of the United States during this crisis and the

crisis recovery period.

 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that all resolutions and parts of resolutions in conflict herewith, be and the same are hereby waived.

 

Meeting History

Sep 8, 2020 1:00 PM Video Atlanta City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft

REFERRED TO FINANCE/EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE WITHOUT OBJECTION

RESULT:REFERRED WITHOUT OBJECTION
Sep 15, 2020 1:30 PM Video Community Development/Human Services Committee Regular Committee Meeting
draft Draft

FORWARDED TO FINANCE/EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

RESULT:FAVORABLE AS AMENDED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Antonio Brown, Vice-Chair, District 3
SECONDER:Amir R Farokhi, District 2
AYES:Matt Westmoreland, Michael Julian Bond, Carla Smith, Amir R Farokhi, Antonio Brown, Natalyn Mosby Archibong, Joyce M Sheperd
Sep 16, 2020 1:30 PM Video Finance/Executive Committee Regular Committee Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:FAVORABLE AS AMENDED [6 TO 0]
MOVER:Natalyn Mosby Archibong, District 5
SECONDER:Jennifer N. Ide, Chair, District 6
AYES:Jennifer N. Ide, Matt Westmoreland, Andre Dickens, Natalyn Mosby Archibong, Howard Shook, Joyce M Sheperd
ABSTAIN:J. P. Matzigkeit
Sep 21, 2020 1:00 PM Video Atlanta City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft

Council Member Farokhi made a Motion to Amend 20-R-4316 which removes the word “immediate” before enactment and adds the words “fiscally feasible and” before appropriate in the Be it Further Resolved clause so as to maintain consistency with the caption. It was Seconded by Council Member Brown and the Motion CARRIED by a roll call vote of 15 yeas; 0 nays. Following, Chairperson Ide made a Motion to Adopt as Amended. It was Seconded by Council Member Brown and CARRIED by a roll call vote of 15 yeas; 0 nays.

ADOPTED AS AMENDED BY A ROLL CALL VOTE OF 15 YEAS; 0 NAYS

RESULT:ADOPTED AS AMENDED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Jennifer N. Ide, Councilmember, District 6
SECONDER:Antonio Brown, Councilmember, District 3
AYES:Michael Julian Bond, Matt Westmoreland, Andre Dickens, Carla Smith, Amir R Farokhi, Antonio Brown, Cleta Winslow, Natalyn Mosby Archibong, Jennifer N. Ide, Howard Shook, J. P. Matzigkeit, Dustin Hillis, Andrea L. Boone, Marci Collier Overstreet, Joyce M Sheperd