MONTGOMERY - Democrats in the Alabama Senate are proposing legislation that continues to push for the state to expand its Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Roger Bedford, R-Russellville, would allow for the expansion of Medicaid to about 300,000 new enrollees, most of them working poor who cannot afford health insurance.
Democrats have said the expansion, funded entirely by the federal government for the first three years, would be the economic equivalent of landing a major employer in the state.
“This is an opportunity bigger than Mercedes, bigger than Airbus,” Bedford said this morning.
But Democrats, the minority party, don’t have the votes to pass this legislation and hope some like-minded Republicans will join them. That could be a tough sell in a state where many GOP members, including the governor, have said they don’t like the Affordable Care Act and don’t want to expand Medicaid in its current state.
“I don’t think it will pass,” Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, said this morning.