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Although it is not clear who among legislative Republicans would take up the cause of Medicaid expansion, State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Josephine) says it does not mean there won't be an attempt in the new quadrennium that begins next year.

During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show," the Baldwin County legislator warned parts of the business community, and some of the state's hospitals, could push lawmakers in that direction.

"[I] think it is reasonable to say you see a lot of the business folks and larger hospitals, in particular, starting to put on the show about Medicaid expansion," Orr said. "The Public Research Council of Alabama is starting to make its rounds about the benefits of Medicaid expansion and how important that is."

Elliott voiced his opposition to Medicaid expansion, citing what he deemed society-changing consequences, including a potential decrease in the state's already-struggling labor participation rate.

"I am adamantly opposed to expanding Medicaid," Elliott continued. "I think it is going to be very expensive. It'll put a huge burden on our budgets. But I think the underlying issue that nobody likes to talk about is it changes society. When we have more people on the dole who don't have to go to work in order to get health insurance, we end up wondering why is our labor participation rate so low. The answer is because, in Alabama, half of the children born in this state are born into Medicaid or CHIPs on the government dole — half. And when we make it easier for people not to go to work, guess what they do? They don't go to work.

"That's my concern — that policies change society in the way families function overall.”

Jeff Poor is the executive editor 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 jeff.poor@1819News.com or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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