Youths Rally To Support Medicaid Expansion


By Alabama News Network

Hundreds of alabama youth gather on the capitol steps today to rally for medicaid expansion.

Alabama is one of about 20 states who have decided to not to expand medicaid.
The rally was filled not only with speeches and testimonies, but also music and art.
Many of those on the steps say they have seen first hand what happens when you fall in the medicaid gap, too poor to afford health insurance, but not poor enough to qualify for medicaid. 
"I'm a young man who does not have a job, who's seeking a job, who has dreams. Then to come and get a hospital bill, four thousand dollars, a bone specialist seeing him that's another two thousand dollars. That's six thousand dollars that I do not have. And then they want me to reach a dream that I am not going to be able to reach if I'm in debt before I'm 25," said one young man.
A group of kids with the 21st century youth leadership camp were also at the rally.  The group's goal is to empower youth to stand up in their communities.
"We see that healthcare is not a luxury. It's not something that only a priveleged few should have. It's something that everyone should have. Everyone in this country should have healthcare," said April Cadell with the group.
Governor Robert Bentley has been very vocal that expanding healthcare is not the right move for Alabama. State Senator Dick Brewbaker says it's not because republicans in the state don't care, but because the price tag is just too high. 
"I agree that there are needs. But we also have to be able to pay for what we want to do. Right now nobody, including the democrats, have come up with any method for paying for medicaid expansion after the federal funds drop off. And the governor is not going to try to buy votes by taxing and spending," said Sen. Brewbaker.