Bentley: Give states more power over Medicaid

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he hopes the incoming Trump administration and Congress will allow states to charge Medicaid premiums and set enrollment requirements.

The Republican governor described his hopes in a Jan. 19 letter to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy as Congress works on a repeal and possible replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

Bentley said states need flexibility to set Medicaid enrollment requirements, reduce benefits and impose premiums or "skin-in-the-game" requirements on recipients.

Bentley cautioned repealing the Affordable Care Act without a "clear replacement" could cause some insurers to withdraw from the market.

The governor also urged Congress to maintain indigent care payments to hospitals. The payments are scheduled to drop as the uninsured people shift to Medicaid. However, Alabama did not expand its Medicaid program.