Medicaid expansion protesters interrupt Perry talk

By: WILL WEISSERT Associated Press
By: WILL WEISSERT Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Hecklers have repeatedly interrupted a speech by Gov. Rick Perry, demanding that Texas expand the Medicaid program under the White House-backed health care reform law.

Perry was beginning his address at an Austin business forum Wednesday when a woman chanted "Expand Texas health care!" He replied, "I gotcha."

A man began yelling a few minutes later and Perry invited protesters to his office for a debate, imploring them to be polite.

He was interrupted again and again. At one point the governor clapped his hands in exasperation and said: "Please, please, please, please!" before repeating his offer to debate the issue later.

Others chanted slogans in Spanish. Perry joked "only five more days until the Legislature leaves."

Lawmakers conclude their work May 27 but also have opposed expanding Medicaid.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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