Stacey Abrams vows to continue Medicaid expansion fight in Georgia - despite Trump's win

"The Democratic Party is going to continue to argue for Medicaid expansion. We're going to argue for coverage of as many Georgians as possible," she told WABE's Denis O'Hayer Wednesday. "And the Republican response is going to be the governing response: 'We don't think we can afford it.' Our argument is that we think you can, you just simply won't make the investment."

Gov. Nathan Deal and other Republican leaders have long resisted expanding the state's Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act, saying it was too costly in the long run, though a growing number of GOP lawmakers hoped to force the conversation this legislative session.

Trump's victory has sidelined the debate, and his pick of U.S. Rep. Tom Price as health secretary - who has made dismantling Obamacare his passion - means vast changes are coming to the program. Abrams said she has little hope of swaying Price or Deal to change their minds. But she hopes to put the onus on Republicans now in complete control of Washington.

Here's a snippet of her interview with O'Hayer:

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Cobb native Nick Ayers was backed by Mike Pence, Stephen Bannon and other top Trump aides to run the Republican National Committee. But Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus, the RNC's current head, sided with Michigan GOP chair Ronna McDaniel and his faction won the day.

McDaniel's promotion was made official in a news release Wednesday.

“I’m excited to have a highly effective leader in Ronna McDaniel as RNC Deputy Chair and I look forward to her serving as the Party’s Chairman in 2017,” said President-elect Donald J. Trump. “Ronna has been extremely loyal to our movement and her efforts were critical to our tremendous victory in Michigan, and I know she will bring the same passion to the Republican National Committee.”

Don't shed too many tears for Ayers, who ran Sonny Perdue's re-election campaign and is now a top aide to Pence. If he doesn't join the administration in another role, he's likely to continue his high-paid gig as a behind-the-scenes GOP operative.

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A list circulating in Democratic circles features the names of 15 Republican state lawmakers, all from metro Atlanta, in districts won by Democrat Hillary Clinton last month.

Check out the list below:

6 - Hunter Hill (R) - Cobb

40 - Fran Millar (R) - Dekalb

48 - David Shafer (R) - Gwinnett

37 - Sam Teasley (R) - Marietta

40 - Rich Golick (R) - Smyrna

51 - Wendell Willard (R) Sandy Springs

52 - Deborah Silcox (R) - Atlanta

54 - Beth Beskin (R) - Atlanta

79 - Tom Taylor (R) - Dunwoody

80 -  Meagan Hanson (R) - Brookhaven

105 - Joyce Chandler (R) - Lawrenceville

106 - Brett Harrell (R) -  Lawrenceville

107 - David Casas (R) - Lilburn

108 - Clay Cox (R)- Lilburn

111 - Brian Strickland (R) - McDonough

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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