Religious leaders demand Gov. expand Medicaid - CBS46 News

Religious leaders demand Gov. expand Medicaid

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

They say they got snubbed at the Governor's Mansion on Monday. So on Tuesday, two of Atlanta's most prominent religious leaders hand delivered a petition to expand Medicaid to the Governor's Office.

Bishop Robert Wright of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta and Rev. Raphael Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church are demanding Gov. Deal expand Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of low-income Georgians.

The two leaders led a group of protesters to the Governor's Mansion on Monday night to deliver the Medicaid petition, but were told to enter through a side gate instead of the main entrance.

The protesters refused, calling it a sign of disrespect.

"Whenever you have 50,000 Georgians saying this is an issue that is important to us, we should have been received more respectfully than yesterday," Warnock said.

The state chose not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

The Governor has said it would cost the state millions of dollars it cannot afford.

A spokesman for the Governor issued this written statement:

"We accept letters voicing opinions from constituents every day. They haven't asked for a meeting. Security at the Mansion asked them to deliver the petitions to a side gate, where troopers would meet them. They refused. I don't know why.

The Governor has treated this group with respect, which stands in stark contrast to the outrageous, indefensible and offensive name calling that the protesters have engaged in. One called the governor, a good Christian man, "Pontius Pilate." You can't engage in that over the top rhetoric and then ask why you aren't invited in for tea. For the record, we've never returned the name calling. And we won't. We've reasonably and appropriately stated our stance on Medicaid over and over again. "

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