Variety of advocates argue for Medicaid expansion

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Several organizations are trying to convince South Carolina lawmakers to expand Medicaid rolls in the state despite objections from Gov. Nikki Haley.

Health care advocates held sessions Tuesday in Columbia arguing that Medicaid expansion is an investment in the economy, the health of its people, and will also boost jobs. The federal-state program covers the poor and disabled.

Lathran Woodard of the South Carolina Primary Care Association says people with access to health care are more productive workers.

The federal government says it will pay the full cost of the expansion through 2016.

Haley and her Medicaid director say the state can't afford to pay for the match after that.

They want to opt out of any expansion, but the decision is up to lawmakers in the General Assembly.

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