Gov. Kemp signs 'Patients First Act'

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Governor Brian Kemp signed the Patients First Act Wednesday afternoon. The bill will change the way the state approaches healthcare.

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The governor was surrounded by doctors in lab coats as he signed the bill.

Healthcare was a big priority for Gov. Kemp on the campaign trail and he hopes this bill will help the state figure out how best to address Georgia’s needs.

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The measure allows the state to hire a consultant to examine Georgia's current healthcare challenges and offer solutions. It also gives the Governor the flexibility to seek federal waivers for both Medicaid and the private insurance marketplace, established under the Affordable Care Act. 

While some Democrats voted for the bill, many expressed concerns about the 240,000 Georgians who are left in the "coverage gap." 

Lawmakers already approved money in this year's amended budget to hire a consulting firm. Kemp said he hopes to get one on board as soon as possible.