There have recently been rumblings that Gov. Kay Ivey is considering expanding Alabama's Medicaid eligibility. This would mean a difficult choice for the Alabama Legislature: oppose the Governor with the possibility of political consequences or put the state's stable general fund budget in peril.

During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show," State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Josephine) reiterated his opposition to Medicaid expansion, noting that just a small hit to the general fund would "absolutely upend the budgets."

"This is one of the things that really bothered me about the gambling legislation — was that it absolutely had Medicaid expansion language in it," Elliott said. "And it was a problem. It was a problem for me, and it was a problem for others who understand that once you get on that hook, once you start providing those entitlements to people, you will never ween yourself off of it. And if you don't believe it, look at the federal government and what it does, the differences. The federal government can print money and can put us in these trillions of dollars of deficits. And the state cannot do that. A small increase in expenses to the state will absolutely turn the general fund budget upside-down overnight, just a couple of percentage points increase can cost hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars."

"It's why I'm so adamantly opposed to expanding Medicaid," he added. "Because we could, we will — hear me, we will end up in the spot where a small change in the rate at which the feds are participating will absolutely upend the budgets that we have worked so hard to make sure are conservative and balanced. These folks who push Medicaid expansion either don't care about balanced budgets or don't care about the downside that could come from small increase like that. My job, first and foremost, is to be conservative, be conservative with the people's money and make sure we do not put ourselves in a situation where we bankrupt the state providing entitlements, expanded entitlements for folks. That's not something that is ever going to be OK with me. They tried to sneak it in with the gambling legislation. I was opposed to that. I continue to remain diametrically opposed to any expansion of Medicaid in the state of Alabama."

Jeff Poor is the editor in chief of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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