Presidential election could impact AL's Medicaid agency

Presidential election could impact AL's Medicaid agency

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - President-elect Donald Trump, and many other Republicans heading to Washington D.C., campaigned on fixing the country's healthcare system.

Whatever those changes may be, the impact could soon hit the local level where many states, including Alabama, face challenges with the rising cost of programs like Medicaid.

"It's going to take a collaboration between the feds and the state," said Rep. Victor Gaston "The costs are just out of control and have got to be contained."

Gaston said he thinks Republican leadership in Washington may be more understanding of Medicaid funding issues on the state level, and that level of understanding may impact leadership.

Medicaid serves more than 20 percent of Alabamians, including 500,000 children. However, Medicaid costs have been on the rise and have been a major source of the state's budget issues.

Senator Quinton Ross hopes new leadership does not hurt Medicaid.

"I'm cautiously optimistic but of course if something were to happen, it would be devastating," Ross said.

Rep. John Knight thinks new leadership on the federal level could soon be felt in Alabama.

"Well, I think it could have a tremendous impact on it. There is not much certainty out there as it relates to the future of Medicaid," Knight said.

So what does happen next?

The state is currently looking into a plan to move Medicaid into a system of Regional Care Organizations to help control costs.

However, some lawmakers seem to be wavering on their support as costs of the program seems to continue to rise, and three of the 11 organizations have d ropped off.

So what comes next, if for now, is certainly unknown.

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