Bentley Rejects Health Exchanges, Medicaid Expansion

 ========= Old Image Removed =========Array
(
    [_wp_attached_file] => Array
        (
            [0] => 2008/11/Alabama_map.jpg
        )

    [_wp_attachment_metadata] => Array
        (
            [0] => a:5:{s:5:"width";i:888;s:6:"height";i:1346;s:4:"file";s:23:"2008/11/Alabama_map.jpg";s:5:"sizes";a:12:{s:6:"medium";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:23:"Alabama_map-336x509.jpg";s:5:"width";i:336;s:6:"height";i:509;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:5:"large";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:24:"Alabama_map-771x1169.jpg";s:5:"width";i:771;s:6:"height";i:1169;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"thumbnail";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:23:"Alabama_map-140x140.jpg";s:5:"width";i:140;s:6:"height";i:140;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:12:"medium_large";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:24:"Alabama_map-768x1164.jpg";s:5:"width";i:768;s:6:"height";i:1164;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"wbhm-icon";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:21:"Alabama_map-80x80.jpg";s:5:"width";i:80;s:6:"height";i:80;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:13:"wbhm-featured";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:23:"Alabama_map-800x450.jpg";s:5:"width";i:800;s:6:"height";i:450;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:20:"wbhm-featured-square";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:23:"Alabama_map-600x600.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:600;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:18:"wbhm-featured-home";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:23:"Alabama_map-205x311.jpg";s:5:"width";i:205;s:6:"height";i:311;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:22:"wbhm-featured-carousel";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:23:"Alabama_map-175x265.jpg";s:5:"width";i:175;s:6:"height";i:265;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:28:"ab-block-post-grid-landscape";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:23:"Alabama_map-600x400.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:400;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:25:"ab-block-post-grid-square";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:23:"Alabama_map-600x600.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:600;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:14:"post-thumbnail";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:23:"Alabama_map-125x125.jpg";s:5:"width";i:125;s:6:"height";i:125;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}}s:10:"image_meta";a:12:{s:8:"aperture";s:1:"0";s:6:"credit";s:0:"";s:6:"camera";s:0:"";s:7:"caption";s:0:"";s:17:"created_timestamp";s:1:"0";s:9:"copyright";s:0:"";s:12:"focal_length";s:1:"0";s:3:"iso";s:1:"0";s:13:"shutter_speed";s:1:"0";s:5:"title";s:0:"";s:11:"orientation";s:1:"0";s:8:"keywords";a:0:{}}}
        )

    [_imagify_data] => Array
        (
            [0] => a:2:{s:5:"stats";a:3:{s:13:"original_size";i:0;s:14:"optimized_size";i:0;s:7:"percent";i:0;}s:5:"sizes";a:1:{s:4:"full";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}}}
        )

    [_imagify_status] => Array
        (
            [0] => already_optimized
        )

    [_imagify_optimization_level] => Array
        (
            [0] => 1
        )

)
1524064696 
1352851200

Gov. Bentley Rejects Key Provisions of Affordable Care Act

 

Alabama is joining a growing list of states that will not set up an insurance exchange under the federal health care law. Governor Robert Bentley announced yesterday he will not authorize the state-based exchange. He cites cost, saying it would create a tax burden of up to $50 million dollars. He also announced he will not expand Medicaid because the state can’t afford it.

The Affordable Care Act requires state insurance exchanges (read an explainer from NPR’s Julie Rovner here). If a state refuses to set one up, the federal government will do it for them. Some observers say its ironic and risky that so many republican governors are essentially handing over control of the state health care exchanges to the federal government. But Washington Post health policy reporter Sarah Kliff argues republican governors may be “making a very smart decision that could ultimately strengthen the Affordable Care Act rather than detract from it.”

The Medicaid expansion is optional and would have been almost completely paid for by the federal government. The Kaiser Family Foundation says more than 350,000 low income Alabamians who currently don’t have health insurance would have been added to the Medicaid rolls under the expansion. The Urban Institute estimates the Medicaid expansion would have pumped $10 billion federal dollars into Alabama’s economy over the next 6 years. Alabama Arise, a statewide coalition that advocates for low-income residents, says the Governor’s decision is a major blow to the state’s health care system and overall economy.

House Minority leader Craig Ford also criticized the governor’s decision. The Gadsden Democrat says the governor “is playing politics and wants to appear like he’s fighting Obamacare, when all he has really done is turn over these crucial decisions to the federal government and lost an opportunity to get back tax dollars.”

Bill Armistead, Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, commended Gov. Bentley for his decision.

“The voters in Alabama have spoken loud and clear in sending Barack Obama a message that we do not like his liberal policies and I am glad to stand with Governor Bentley in opposing ObamaCare here in Alabama,” said Armistead.

In related news, Nov 12 – 16 is Rural Health Week in Alabama. According to the Alabama Rural Health Association there are severe shortages of health care providers in Alabama. There are 67 counties in state. Of those, 55 are considered rural. And all of them have shortages of dental and mental health care. More than half of the rural counties in the state don’t have hospitals that deliver babies. And seventeen don’t have a dialysis clinic. The ARHA says health care shortages make it difficult to recruit industry and jobs to rural Alabama.

More Government Coverage

Big Union Loss At Amazon Warehouse Casts Shadow Over Labor Movement

Last week's overwhelming vote against forming a union at Amazon's Bessemer warehouse was the latest in a string of disappointments for labor unions. Now Amazon employees and union backers are trying to find a way forward.

Legislative Wrap-Up: Senate Moves To Nullify Federal Gun Control, Passes Gambling Bill

Alabama is one of several conservative states where lawmakers are considering a measure making it a crime to enforce federal gun regulations.

UAB Health System CEO: ‘It really was that bleak.’

CEO Will Ferniany will end his health care career having led the organization through the coronavirus pandemic. He plans to retire later this year.

Redevelopment Of Southtown As Mixed-Use Property To Begin In June

The redevelopment plans have been several years in the making.

Alabama Pauses Distribution Of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

Alabama is one of several states halting distribution of the vaccine as federal health officials examine links to adverse health effects.

As Chronic Prison Understaffing Plagues Region, Mississippi Tries A New Approach

The Department of Corrections is aiming to fill 700 correctional officer positions by the summer. They’re looking for recruits in Walmart parking lots.

More Government Coverage