Rep. Dukes says not expanding Medicaid was a 'mistake' - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Rep. Dukes says not expanding Medicaid was a 'mistake'

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

As the battle over health care rages at the U.S. Capitol, one state representative says Georgia made a big mistake in refusing to expand its Medicaid program.

Georgia rejected $33 billion in federal funding to expand medicaid, so the federal government instead set up a health care exchange to cover more uninsured Georgians as part of the Affordable Care Act.

The plans under that exchange are much more expensive in southwest Georgia than any other region.  Representative Winfred Dukes says state lawmakers should fight to expand medicaid.

"To reject $33 billion from the federal government- we're not moving in the right direction," said Dukes. "We're definitely going to push for medicaid expansion because in southwest Georgia we have people who actually qualify for Medicaid, working with no healthcare."

Governor Nathan Deal opposed the Affordable Care Act.  Deal has said he worries the state would ultimately get stuck with the higher cost of expanding medicaid.

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