Bentley Exploring Medicaid Expansion, Oil Transportation, VA Meeting

Dec 18, 2014

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley
Credit Wikimedia


The U.S. Secretary of Transportation will be meeting with officials in Canada today on the safety of transporting oil by rail car. An accident and oil spill in Western Alabama last year is considered one reason for the talks by Secretary Anthony Foxx. The train carrying over two million gallons of a type of oil called Bakken crude derailed and spilled near Aliceville. The accident reportedly created three hundred fireball explosions. Environmentalist John Wathen is with the friends of Hurricane Creek. He visited the Aliceville site after the accident and he says the smell was terrible…

          “Bakken crude has a smell to it that’s similar to burnt motor oil. If you’ve ever changed the oil in your own car or been around a garage or shop, there’s an acrid smell to that old oil. That’s what Bakken crude smells like.”

             Wathen complains that Bakken crude is more explosive than conventional crude oil. He says it also corrodes rail cars from the inside-out, so a newer and safer way to transport it is needed.

Governor Robert Bentley says he is exploring the idea of a state-created program that uses Medicaid expansion dollars to bring health care coverage to previously uninsured people living at or slightly above the poverty line.

He emphasized Today his administration is only in the early stages of looking at a state-designed program.  Bentley said he is also uncertain if the federal government would approve the work requirements he wants for recipients.

The governor says it is not a reversal from his previous statements that Medicaid was broken and shouldn't be expanded in its present form under the federal health care law.

Veterans in west Alabama with questions about their healthcare will have the opportunity to get answers this evening. The Tuscaloosa V-A will be holding their quarterly town hall meeting this evening. Damon Stevenson is the Communications Officer for the Tuscaloosa V-A. He says these meetings help the veterans AND the V-A.

        “Veteran’s may have questions or concerns and we always have people there address those and especially if it is an individual issue that they need addressed with their care or appointments or whatnot.” 

        The hour long meeting begins at six this evening at the Tuscaloosa V-A hospital in the sports atrium. The event is open to both veterans and their families.