Health care continues to be a concern for state policymakers as the 2023 legislative session approaches.

While there has been buzz about the possibility of Medicaid expansion, lawmakers have rejected that as a possibility in the near term.

House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) acknowledged there was work that could be done to bolster Alabama's health care resources. However, he is also standoffish about the likelihood of Medicaid expansion.

During an interview with Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show" on Friday, he discussed options for health care.

"Well, there are some things I think we can do," Ledbetter said. "And I had a meeting just this week on it. I think we can look at the way some of it is categorized, and maybe some of the problem is that the state and some of these hospitals aren't being refunded the full amount on some of their insurance plans and some of the Medicaid plans. So, I think certainly we're looking at that and meeting with everybody and kind of seeing what we can do."

According to the DeKalb County Republican lawmaker, the increases in the costs of Medicaid along with the possibility of expanding Medicaid eligibility concerned him.

"I think, Jeff, really and truly, what we've got to do is get everybody to the table and look and see what is going to be positive and work," Ledbetter added. "The expansion of Medicaid scares me from the standpoint of we know how much it went up when I first went into office. We've seen every year incremental huge increases in that in our budgets. It hasn't been as much in the last couple of years, but there for a couple of years, it would go up $50 million one year and just continue to rise. So, I think we've got to be cautious about that because what will happen if it is all thrown on taxpayers' lap and will wind up not being able to fund everything we need to fund.

"I do think there has to be some adjustments, and I think there are ways to do it. There are smart people who have been studying it, that we can look at doing some things that get reimbursements back to these hospitals they haven't been getting. I think that's important. We'll look at that and continue to work on it, and I think we'll have a positive outcome."

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email