SC Senate committee refuses to expand Medicaid

By SEANNA ADCOXAssociated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Senate Finance Committee has refused to expand Medicaid eligibility to more poor adults as part of the state budget.

A 13-10 vote Thursday defeated Democrats' attempt to insert the expansion into the Senate's budget proposal for 2013-14. The committee is crafting its spending plan this week.

The proposal came a day after Democrats grilled Medicaid director Tony Keck on his reasons for opposing an expansion under the federal health care overhaul. But senators didn't debate each other Thursday.

Senate Minority Leader Nikki Setlzer said a protracted debate was unnecessary since senators knew their positions.

House Republicans and Gov. Nikki Haley also oppose extending the government health care programs to hundreds of thousands of additional poor adults.

The House budget plan includes money for Keck's initiatives aimed at improving health.

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