Democrats in Legislature Push for Medicaid Expansion

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By Alabama News Network

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.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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