Policy: Entitlements

Georgia Medicaid expansion bill opens new political attack

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Associated Press,Georgia,Medicare and Medicaid,Entitlements

ATLANTA — A bill with the backing of House Republican leadership would give the General Assembly the authority to decide whether the state should expand Medicaid under the federal health care law.

It was filed earlier this month with little fanfare but it has considerable political ramifications. Gov. Nathan Deal has already refused to expand Medicaid, and the Republican-controlled House and Senate are unlikely to vote in favor of expansion.

Supporters of the bill, including Deal, say lawmakers should have a say over a policy decision with a significant effect on the state budget. They argue the bill isn't political, although Republicans have sought to put Democrats on the defensive by having to explain why they would oppose giving themselves a vote on whether to expand Medicaid.

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