ATLANTA (AP) - Gov. Sonny Perdue's office is considering
charging hospitals and health insurance companies extra fees to
help cover the state's budget shortfall.

State officials say the new fees would help fill a $208 million hole in the Georgia's Medicaid budget and beef up a spotty trauma
care network that researchers say leaves 700 people dead each year.

The fee proposals go before state lawmakers when they convene in January.

Health care industry advocates say the fees could lead to
cutbacks in service to Georgia's poorest residents because
insurance companies and hospitals will have to scale back to pay
the state.

The state is trying to deal with an overall budget shortfall of
$1.6 billion to $2 billion or more because of declining tax
revenues.


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