Working poor stand at center of Medicaid debate

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Associated Press

Posted on July 22, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 23 at 6:00 AM

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) — The working poor of Texas stand at the center of a debate over President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, which could have expanded Medicaid coverage to many of the state's nearly 5.6 million uninsured people.

But Republican Gov. Rick Perry says he will not widen the program because it would cost too much.

Nowhere did Obama's health care law hold more promise than in Texas, which leads the nation in the portion of its population that is uninsured. A quarter of Texans have no coverage, many of them families considered among the working poor.

Perry was not alone in his decision. Several other GOP governors made the same move or are contemplating doing so, saying they can't afford to expand the joint state-federal program or they disagree with it philosophically.

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