By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Dr. Robert Bentley was elected Governor to the Great State of Alabama because people trust him.
Governor Bentley has not had the luxury of presiding over the state in a time of plenty or tranquility, rather he has had to lead through storms, devastation and the worst fiscal crisis in a generation. Through it all, Bentley has maintained his calm demeanor, solid composure and confident stride. The governor has said concerning the September 18 constitutional amendment that he trusts the people of Alabama and that the people trust him. As we reach the critical days before the September 18 vote, Governor Bentley had this to say:
“Already, Alabama provides among the lowest level of benefits for Medicaid recipients when compared to other states. Any significant cuts would have devastating consequences. In order to avoid those cuts, Medicaid needs at least $600 million in the next fiscal year. If the constitutional amendment passes, we will be able to fund Medicaid at that level.”
Governor Bentley like many in the medical field understands the dire consequences of not funding Medicaid, the health delivery system of Alabama is dependent on Medicaid being whole. “If Medicaid is funded at less than $600 million, the strain on the entire healthcare system would be severe.”
Bentley has been on a mission to reduce government spending while trying to salvage such fragile programs as Medicaid. Countless hours have been invested by the governor and his staff to find ways of carving away the fat and preserving what is needful to keep the state moving forward during a difficult time. “We are also committed to continuing our mission to improve efficiencies in state government. We have already identified roughly $675 million in current and future savings across state government, and we’re well on our way to achieving a billion dollars in annual savings for taxpayers. The people of Alabama expect us to be good stewards of the money they send to Montgomery, and these savings prove that we’re serious about increasing efficiency in government.”
The governor has not lost his campaign ideals or the notion that Alabama still needs a doctor. Medicaid funding has been a difficult to come by but the governor has stayed steadfast in his commitment to doing what is best for all Alabamians. “Medicaid funding affects everyone, whether they’re enrolled in Medicaid or not, because hospitals, doctors’ offices, and nursing homes depend on Medicaid funding to sustain the services they offer to all patients. Because of that, approval of this amendment is important for both the economy of the state and for access to health care for our citizens.”