MOBILE. Ala. (WKRG) — Alabama is one of the few states in the nation that still has not expanded Medicaid access. A group makes the case that it is something that would benefit the state but not everyone is on board. The issue of expanding Medicaid has been around since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law more than a decade ago.

Later today, the Executive Director of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama will present their study that indicates Medicaid expansion could create jobs and be a net gain for Alabama–and provide more reimbursement for hospitals with fewer uninsured or underinsured patients.
They argue the benefit is thousands of low-income people in Alabama will have coverage.

“It could save the state almost $400 million dollars over the next six years have an economic impact of 1.9 billion over that same time period and that’s a pretty stunning economic impact,” said Dr. Michael Chambers with the University of South Alabama. “[PARCA] predicts it will create an average of 20,000 new jobs in Alabama.” But Republicans in general have been opposed to Medicaid expansion for a long time saying the reimbursement won’t always be there and that expanding entitlements can get slippery.

“The More people we have on some sort of government assistance the less incentive there is for people to go to work,” said Baldwin County State Senator Chris Elliott. “When I talk with the budget officials at the state they are very concerned about the expansion of Medicaid and the effects it will have on the budget so there’s certainly a disconnect.”

A small wave of arguably red states have approved Medicaid expansion In recent years like Utah, and Oklahoma, and just last week South Dakota voters approved an expansion. The Facts & The Numbers: Medicaid Expansion presentation will be today starting at 11:30 at the Strada Patient Center. You can also see PARCA’s report in the link here.