The federal government says 12 health centers in Alabama will receive nearly $3.5 million in funding to help expand primary care services.
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced Friday that the $3,468,448 comes under the Affordable Care Act.
The agency says the money will help the health centers hire an estimated 45 new staff members, stay open for longer hours and expand the care they provide. Some new services could include oral health, mental and behavioral health, pharmacy and vision services.
Alabama's governor says the state won't create a health insurance exchange under the federal Affordable Care Act or use the law to expand Medicaid to cover more low-income Alabamians.
Gov. Robert Bentley made the announced Tuesday while speaking to the Birmingham Business Alliance. Friday is the deadline for states to notify President Barack Obama's administration whether they will create a state exchange or let the federal government implement one for them.
A constitutional amendment on Tuesday's ballot will allow Alabama voters to express their views on the Affordable Care Act without having any significant legal impact.
Amendment 6 would prohibit any person, employer or health care provider from being compelled to participate in any health care system.
The sponsor, former Republican state Rep. Blaine Galliher of Rainbow City, says it allows voters to express their views on the act and its passage will encourage the state attorney general to keep pursuing legal challenges.