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“Transportation tied in with one of the other main topics discussed at the meeting, the expansion of Medicaid in the state. Medicaid funds can be used as match money for new vehicle and operational costs, Seurer said. Perhaps not surprisingly, Democrats and Republicans debated the pros and cons of Medicaid expansion. Earlier this year, the Legislature voted along party lines not to expand Medicaid benefits to more low-income residents.”

“Georgia has opted out of expanding Medicaid under Obamacare, aiming to avoid increased costs. On top of that, at the close of this year’s legislative session Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill making sure Medicaid cannot be expanded in Georgia without approval by the legislature. HB 990 bars any expansion of Medicaid eligibility ‘through an increase in the income threshold without prior legislative approval.’ The law specifies the approval must be by a legislative act or joint resolution of the General Assembly. Maybe this is a hedge against the possibility of pro-Medicaid expansion Democratic nominee for governor Jason Carter winning in November? Carter, trailing Deal, is trying to make Medicaid a key issue in the race.”

“MaineCare, the state’s Medicaid program, has an annual budget within the DHHS of roughly $2.4 billion a year, Mayhew told the Rotarians. She added that at the start of his administration, Governor Paul LePage requested more than $200 million to stabilize the foundation of the program. In Fiscal Year 2014, she said, there was zero-percent growth in MaineCare spending as the DHHS seeks to identify deficiencies and provide services to those who need it most — namely, seniors and individuals with disabilities.”

“Some Missouri Republicans say they’re willing to expand Medicaid – provided that new recipients look for jobs as a condition of eligibility. But a new agreement between the federal government and Pennsylvania suggests that strategy probably won’t work. Pennsylvania’s plan to provide coverage to as many as 600,000 low-income residents was approved last week, but only after its work-search requirement was dropped after stiff resistance from the federal government.”

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