Healthcare expansion rally held at Alabama State Capitol - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Healthcare expansion rally held at Alabama State Capitol

(Source: MGN) (Source: MGN)

Dozens of people joined at the steps of the Alabama State Capitol on Saturday to take a stand on Medicaid expansion.

It's been a cry, mainly from Democrats in Alabama, saying if the program was expanded, lives would be saved.

The cry is being directed straight at Governor Robert Bentley, calling and pleading for Medicaid to finally be expanded.

If the state were to expand Medicaid, about 300,000 low income residents would qualify for the coverage.

Renea Aldridge says her two year old granddaughter would be one of those.

"They told her that she wasn't qualified," Aldridge said. "You think about any little thing could happen and she could be turned down right now. What if something serious happened, it's heartbreaking."

Callie Greer's daughter, Venus Colley-Mims, died from cancer. Greer believes if she had Medicaid, she would have been properly treated, and would still be living. She says that's why she must continue to fight, in hopes of making sure others don't fall victim like her daughter.

"They just let my daughter get sicker and sicker," Greer said.

So far the organization Save Ourselves Movement for Justice and Democracy, also known as SOS, says it has collected nearly 15,000 signatures from Alabama residents in support of the expansion.

"Our people need healthcare," said Barbara Howard, SOS health committee member. "Our economy could grow with Medicaid expansion. It won't cost Alabama one cent for the next three years and then after that will only be paying ten percent."

If Alabama was to expand, the federal government would provide about $1 billion, and Alabama would have to pay about $700,000,000 by the year 2020.

Even still many believe a change needs to be made.

WSFA 12 News reached out to the governor's office for a response and Jennifer Ardis, the governor's communication director, tells us that the governor's position on Medicaid Expansion hasn't changed. She says he is focused on reforming the broken system and not expanding it.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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