Defeat of jobs bill creates Ala. Medicaid deficit

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The defeat of a jobs bill in the U.S. Senate last week created a $197 million hole in the Alabama Medicaid budget.

The $1.6 billion General Fund budget passed by the state Legislature anticipated receiving $197 million for Medicaid from the jobs bill.

The chairman of the Senate General Fund budget committee, Democratic Sen. Roger Bedford of Russellville, said Monday losing
that funding could force Medicaid to cut programs such as medical
care for children or nursing home beds for senior citizens.

Bedford said Republican Gov. Bob Riley could be forced to call a special session of the Legislature to fill the funding gap.

Riley's communications director, Jeff Emerson, said the budget doesn't take affect until July 1 and it's too early to discuss drastic measures.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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