Health

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley Considering Expanding Medicaid After Years Of Opposition (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Gov. Robert Bentley Gov. Robert Bentley

Republican Gov. Robert Bentley of Alabama told WSFA 12 News in November 2014 that he would not expand Medicaid because Obamacare was the "worst piece of legislation ever passed" (video below). Bentley announced on Nov. 12, 2015, that he is considering expanding Medicaid under Obamacare.

“We are looking at that," Bentley said in reply to an audience member's question at a legal conference, reports the Associated Press. "We have not made a final decision on that yet, exactly how that would work.”

“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,” Bentley explained.

However, in 2014, Bentley told WSFA 12 News that "people are being seen" by doctors who "have to see the patients."

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“If we were to accept that you have to realize that it’s going to cost the state of Alabama over the next six years, $710 million dollars in the general fund," Bentley said at the legal conference in 2015. "Folks, I can’t even get them to raise $100 million so we’ve got to look at a funding stream for that if we are going to do it.”

However, Bentley failed to mention that he signed away almost $200 million in corporate welfare in an economic development agreement with a copper tubing company to bring its $100 million plant to Wilcox County, Alabama, in 2012 to "create a chance for up to 500 jobs," AL.com reported.

In his interview with WSFA 12 News in 2014, Bentley blamed Obamacare for the poor economy.

MSNBC noted on Nov. 12 that private sector jobs soared in the U.S. under Obamacare from 2009 to 2015.

David Becker and Michael Morrisey, health care economists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Public Health, said in a study back in 2012 that an estimated 300,000 residents in the state would be newly-covered under the expansion of Medicaid.

Sources: University of Alabama at Birmingham, WSFA 12 News via YouTube, The Associated Press via Selma times Journal, MSNBC, AL.com / Photo Credit: WSFA 12 News Screenshot