First stimulus money arrives in Alabama, bound for Medicaid

Montgomery, AL - (WSFA) - The first stimulus money coming to Alabama is now in the bank for the state Medicaid department.

169 million dollars will be used to pay medical bills for Alabamians in the program. The money came in around 10 Wednesday morning from Washington. This check covers expenses from October 2008 through March 2009, and will continue each quarter.

The federal dollars means Medicaid will not have to make cuts. Carol Steckel is the Alabama Medicaid Commissioner. She tells WSFA 12 News, "It will go to pay for physician services. It will go to pay for maternity services, and nursing home services. It will go to finance the healthcare services for the close to 1 million Medicaid recipients in this state."

Medicaid normally uses about 35% of the state's general fund budget. The new federal dollars mean some state money can go to other agencies in need.