Bentley: Lottery realistic option

Published 12:26 am Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Gov. Robert Bentley told doctors and other employees at Monroe County Hospital Monday that a lottery is probably the only realistic option for raising more money for Medicaid, reported.

The governor said he thought voters would approve a lottery overwhelmingly if it made its way to the ballot, by “70 percent.”

The Medicaid Agency has said it would have to cut payments to doctors and trim optional programs if its funding request is not met

Bentley requested a $100 million increase in Medicaid’s General Fund appropriation, to $785 million. The budget passed by the House of Representatives last week would provide $700 million.

Legislative leaders say they can’t meet Medicaid’s request without crippling other state services.

Bentley has said he will veto a budget that does not meet Medicaid’s funding request. The Legislature could override the veto and enact the budget without Bentley’s signature, possibly resulting in a special session.