Bentley vows creation of health care tax force in address

Bentley vows creation of health care tax force in address

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - We could soon see tax increases in Alabama.

Governor Bentley made his case for a $541-million tax increase Tuesday night in his State of the State address. Another hot topic he highlighted was Medicaid.

If you weren't listening closely, you may have missed it.

"I will, through Executive Order, create the Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force."

He also said, "As we try to get our people off of Medicaid, and into private payment programs."

A program that sounds very familiar to political analyst Dr. Waymon Burke.

"The way I heard it was it called for Medicaid expansion, something that has been rather controversial."

Controversial when used by its other name - Obamacare.

Dr. Burke says, "He basically seemed to be telling us that we can't afford not to do it. He was talking about the health of the people in the state and that we had a moral obligation."

Revenue also dominated the governor's speech, with Bentley saying the state is broke and millions of dollars in debt.

He reminded us, before discussing tax increases, that sometimes governors make unpopular decisions that pay off in the long run, like the incentives that brought Mercedes to Alabama.

"22 years ago, Alabama stunned the world when one of the most advanced auto manufacturers in the world chose our state for its first U.S. assembly plant."

With budget issues sure to dominate this session, the governor made it clear to lawmakers to leave programs like Pre-K alone, stressing the need for its continued growth.

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