ALABAMA (WTVM) - Some Republican leaders in Montgomery might have cracked open the door to Medicaid expansion in Alabama, but also say it won’t become a reality unless a funding source can be identified.
Alabama is one of 14 states that has not expanded it’s Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
While the federal government would pick up 90% of the cost, the state’s share would be an estimated $168 million in 2020.
Some are opposed to the expansion, saying that is a price tag the state can’t afford. Other say the state needs to expand in order to help the uninsured and keep hospitals financially afloat.
“We extend the olive branch to the Republican Party to ask them to dig down in their heart of hearts and understand they have brothers and sisters who are suffering because they do not have any health care,” said state Rep. Mary Moore.
Democrats are looking at different options as a possible funding source- including a new lottery or legalized sports betting.
If approved, an estimated 340,000 Alabamians- many of them previously uninsured- would gain health coverage through expansion.