Grady Memorial Hospital

Grady Memorial Hospital


Grady Memorial Hospital (GMH) is located in Georgia. It is the largest hospital in the state, with a bed capacity of 953. GMH is a public hospital and among the remaining bunch of hospitals that provide services to uninsured patients. The hospital is an essential facility to the people of Atlanta and the state of Georgia at large. Studies estimate that the 16.3% of the American population comprises of the uninsured. This translates to a figure of 50 million Americans without health cover. Georgia State has one of the highest rates of insured, standing at 19.7%. This rate is more than 3% above the national average.

Given that the population of Georgia was 4.7 million in 2011, 19.75 would translate to a massive figure of 925,000 people. Being the largest public hospital in Georgia, GMH receives a significant proportion of these uninsured patients. The ability of GMH to provide care to the uninsured population of Georgia is affected by several policies. These policies include; existing state and federal medical care programs; immigration policies and the federal healthcare reform bill. This paper has discussed how these policies have affected delivery of care to the uninsured.

State Medical Care Programs for the Uninsured

Several programs have been established to provide medical assistance to the uninsured and the poor. One of these programs is the Georgia Cares (Needymeds, 2012). This is state funded programs that provide medical assistance to any needy senior citizen. Medication Assistance Program is another program that assists needy patients to get prescription drugs. This program is funded by an institution known as God’s Refuge Incorporated. Other state programs include; Medication Access Program, Total Care Advocates, Special Patients Needs and Assistance for the Uninsured Program (Needymeds, 2012). These programs provide resources that enable GMH to provide care to the population of the uninsured.

The poor and uninsured in Georgia are also covered by federal programs. Medicare and Medicaid are two of the most popular federal programs that provide services to the Uninsured with the state of Georgia (National Bureau of Economic Research, 2012). Medicare is a public insurance plan that provides medical assistance to senior citizens, who lack medical insurance or who have low insurance cover. This program facilitates delivery of care to the elderly by GMH. Medicaid is a social insurance program that provides medical assistance to individuals from the low income groups (National Bureau of Economic Research, 2012). This program is the most popular in terms of catering for the medical needs of the poor people in Georgia. However, these federal programs have not been effective in catering for the medical need of the uninsured.

Illegal Immigrants

Illegal immigrants have aggravated the problem of delivering care to the uninsured population in Georgia. Statistics reveal that Georgia is home to some 425, 0000 illegal immigrants (Chapman, 2010). Most of these illegal immigrants are young adults who enter into the state to work in farms and the hospitality industry. Illegal immigrants do not qualify for federal health care program such as Medicare and Medicaid. These federal programs only cover individuals who are legal citizens. Federal policies suggest that Illegal immigrant operate outside the constitutional and legal protections (Glen, 2012). Thus, the government has no obligation to meet their healthcare needs. As a result, the capability of GMH hospital to provide care to this population group is limited.

Most of the state medical assistance programs also make the illegal immigrant ineligible to receive assistance (Glen, 2012). Thus, inadequate access to healthcare has become a significant problem among the illegal immigrants population in Georgia. The law permits illegal immigrants to purchase private health care insurance plan. However, there is also a barrier that prevents most illegal immigrant from obtaining insurance. Most illegal immigrants work without official documentations, which acts as a barrier for them to receive cover through their employees. The incomes of this population are also extremely low and thus, making access to individual private insurance plans a significant challenge. Individual insurance policy is an extremely expensive option for the illegal immigrants.

Federal Healthcare Reform Bill

            Healthcare reform bill is a terms used to refer to federal legislation that were enacted to implemented various changes in the healthcare system (Jackson & Nolen, 2010). One of the main goals of the Healthcare reform bill is to reduce the number of the uninsured and underinsured Americans. The healthcare reform bill is anticipated to decrease the population of the uninsured by 32 million in the first 10 years (Jackson & Nolen, 2010). This implies that only 18 million Americans will be without insurance at the end of the first 10 years. This is likely to increase the capacity of the hospital to cater for to the needs of the patients.

The healthcare bill intends to reduce the uninsured by creating the Health Insurance Exchanges (HIE) (Jackson & Nolen, 2010). HIEs enable individuals without insurance and those who are self employed to purchase subsidized insurance plan through state based exchanges. Funding was made available to states in order to facilitate the implementation this program. The HIE is likely to significantly addressed the problem of the uninsured in Grady Memorial Hospital and the state of Georgia. Individuals who are eligible for subsidies through exchanges should not be eligible for other public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

The healthcare bill also intends to address the insured problem by expanding the Medicaid program. The bill introduced a minimal income level that will serve as a threshold for eligibility for Medicaid. From 2014, only individual that have income levels, which are below the federal poverty level by 133%, will be illegible for Medicaid (Jackson & Nolen, 2010). The program will also encompass the needs of adults without children. Generally, the bill has made the eligibility threshold much simpler. This is likely to expand the category of patients that are able to receive care at GMH.

The healthcare reform bill also provides care to illegal immigrants in a number of ways. The proposed policy changes allow illegal immigrants to purchase private health insurance from the exchange (Rector, 2009). The bill states that any individual is eligible to participate in health insurance exchange as long as they are not enrolled in other public healthcare plans. Illegal immigrants also benefit from the public option provision (Rector, 2009). Public option allows eligible employers and individuals to purchase public plans without any legal restrictions. Thus, through these reforms, GMH will be empowered to provide care to the immigrant population within the state of Georgia.


Grady Memorial Hospital (GMH) is the largest public hospital facility in the state of Georgia. GMH is one of the few facilities that provide health services to the uninsured population in Georgia. Statistics reveal that Georgia has one of the highest populations of the uninsured in the country. The population of uninsured in Georgia stands at 19.7% as compared to the national average of 16.3%. GMH plays a significant role in delivering care to this population. However, the ability to deliver care to the uninsured is influenced by a number of policies. These policies include; state medical care programs, federal medical care programs, immigration policies and medical reform bill.


Chapman J. (2010). Georgia has more Illegal Immigrants than Arizona. November 7, 2012.
Glen P. (2012). Health Care and Illegal Immigrant. November 7, 2012.
Jackson J. & Nolen J. (2010). Healthcare Reform Bill Summary. November 7, 2012.
National Bureau of Economic Research (2012). “Tax Breaks for Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance”. October 9, 2012.
Needymeds (2012) Application Assistance for Georgia. November 7, 2012.

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