Robert Bentley, M.D., the Republican governor of Alabama, where the Affordable Care Act is often denounced, says that his administration might expand the state’s Medicaid program under the federal healthcare law. The expansion under the ACA has been blocked so far by conservative opposition.
“I am concerned about the plight of the working poor … If doctors are not paid for seeing those patients, doctors will not go to rural Alabama because you can’t expect a doctor to go to rural Alabama and lose money,” Dr. Bentley said.
If it actually happens, the move would bring Medicaid expansion to the center of the Republican-dominated Deep South. It would also presumably be good news for the state’s providers.
The desire to obtain the federal funds for the Medicaid expansion has led a few Southern Republican leaders to say they could support the expansion provided the states get waiver programs that give states some leeway to design their own programs. Expect to hear from more of them.