By SEANNA ADCOX
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Democrats plan to renew efforts next year to expand Medicaid eligibility, saying that's the most important way to continue the work of their slain colleague, Sen. Clementa Pinckney.
It will be a tough sell in a state where Republican opposition hasn't budged since a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling made the Medicaid expansion an option. But Democrats hope the Legislature's decision this month to remove the Confederate flag from Statehouse grounds indicates opinions can change.
Sen. Darrell Jackson said extending Medicaid coverage to more poor adults will benefit the state in a tangible way. The Columbia Democrat says that while it was important for the flag to come down, that didn't improve anyone's quality of life.
But leading Republicans say their position the state can't afford it hasn't changed.