Protesters rally in front of governor's mansion over Medicaid program

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ATLANTA - A protest in front of the governor's mansion is drawing dozens of people.
 

The protesters are demanding that Georgia expand its Medicaid program.
 
Protesters by the dozens showed up chanting, with their umbrellas and their ponchos, for what they've termed Moral Monday.
 
The group was protesting a slew of what they call extremist state bills, but probably the biggest issue for them has been the state's refusal to expand the Medicaid program, which protesters claim is blocking 650,000 Georgians' access to affordable health care.
 
“It would also bring a lot of jobs to this state, bring money that taxpayers have paid for Medicaid expansion that are not going to other states and could be going here,” said protester Steve Toggerson. 
 
“I don't understand if the funds are given to you why refuse it. It makes no profit for you,” said protester Ezetah Hayes.
 
A representative with Gov. Nathan Deal's office said in a statement, "Georgia cannot afford the Medicaid expansion as it is currently configured because it requires the state to share part of the cost. Perhaps the protestors could petition the White House to block grant Georgia our share of the federal money, and we can go a long way toward covering this population without breaking the bank.”
 
Channel 2’s Rachel Stockman said she saw large buses drop off some of the protesters. The protesters ranged from church groups to community activists.
 
The protest was expected to last until 7 p.m.