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Published January 30, 2013, 03:34 PM

North Dakota Lawmakers Discuss Increasing Medicaid Benefits

At the North Dakota legislature today lawmakers are discussing increasing medicaid benefits, something allowable under President Obama's new health care law. In the Lake Region those already enrolled in medicaid say they hope more people can be helped by the program.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

At the North Dakota legislature today lawmakers are discussing increasing medicaid benefits, something allowable under President Obama's new health care law. In the Lake Region those already enrolled in medicaid say they hope more people can be helped by the program.

Local senior citizens say medicaid helps pay what medicare and social security miss and that expanding the program can only be good. Expanding medicaid would essentially allow the state to use more federal funds for the program. The state Department of Human Services estimates that would allow 30,000 more people to be enrolled in the program, many at or near the poverty level. Medicaid expansion is part of the so called "Obamacare" act, which automatically draws some criticism. But local seniors urge the legislature to expand the program to help those less fortunate. The Medicaid expansion would be 100 percent covered by federal dollars until 2016. After that the state's share will only be ten percent of the cost.

Governor Jack Dalrymple is a noted supporter of Medicaid expansion, despite his opposition to President Obama's health care law as a whole.

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