Sen. Hudson says Medicaid expansion may pass Senate in January - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Sen. Hudson says Medicaid expansion may pass Senate in January

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State Senator Billy Hudson speaks about Medicaid at a meeting of Forrest/Lamar Republican Women Tuesday. State Senator Billy Hudson speaks about Medicaid at a meeting of Forrest/Lamar Republican Women Tuesday.
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HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

State Senator Billy Hudson of Hattiesburg believes the Senate could vote to expand Medicaid next January as part of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

Hudson (R-Dist. 45) addressed the issue Tuesday at a meeting of Forrest/Lamar Republican Women in Oak Grove.

Hudson is one of a few Republican state lawmakers to openly support Medicaid expansion. Although he doesn't favor Obamacare, he said expanding Medicaid will benefit the state and protect health-related jobs in the Hattiesburg area.

During a special session last month, lawmakers approved the re-authorization of the program, but did not expand it.

Hudson voted against expansion during that session.  

"I was afraid to vote to expand it this time, for fear we'd lose the whole bill and that it might die in the House or the governor could have vetoed it," said Hudson.

But, he said things could be different in Jackson next January.

"I think that expansion will pass the Senate," he said. "Now what will happen in the House, I have no idea."

Medicaid already covers more than 20 percent of the state's population.

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