A Cumming resident is one of Gov. Nathan Deal’s three appointees to a new health care funding committee.
David Tatum, vice president of government and community relations at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, received word of his appointment to the Georgia Senate Select Committee on Medicaid Alternate Funding last week.
“I got the call kind of out of the blue … that he had appointed me and I said, ‘I’m honored to serve and I’d be happy to do it,’” Tatum said.
The committee was formed as a result of Senate Resolution 345, passed during the 2013 legislative session.
“If the federal government starts to scale back on what kind of funding they provide at the state level … this [committee] is to look at what Georgia would do should those federal funds be reduced,” Tatum said.
He noted that Medicaid is vital for many Georgians.
“Right now, Medicaid is the largest payer for kids in the state, and covers almost one out of every five Georgians,” Tatum said. “About 55 percent of the kids that we treat [at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta] are covered by the Medicaid program.
“So it’s very important and certainly something we have to look at closely and make sure we’re administering it correctly and doing the best we can.”
Tatum said the committee’s first meeting is scheduled for early October with recommendations due to the Senate by year’s end.
This is the third state board appointment of Tatum’s career.
In April, Deal asked him to serve on the Medicaid Hospital Financing Committee, and from 1992 to 2002 he sat on the Health Strategies Council after being appointed by then Gov. Zell Miller.