Alabama Democrats push for Medicaid expansion

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Democratic minority in the Alabama Senate has prepared legislation to require Alabama to expand its Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Democratic
Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma said Tuesday the legislation is a
life-or-death matter for some of the 300,000 people who would be covered
by Alabama's Medicaid program.

The
Affordable Care Act allows governors or Legislatures to make the
decision about expanding. Republican Gov. Robert Bentley said Tuesday he
remains opposed to expanding Alabama's Medicaid program under the current rules. Any bill passed by the Legislature could be vetoed by the governor.

Democratic Sen. Roger Bedford of Russellville says he and others faced similar opposition in 1997 when they wanted Alabama to participate in the Children's Health Insurance Program, but they eventually prevailed through public support.

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