The Democrats plan to drop their expansion of Medicaid in Georgia after a state official said he was threatened with arrest over the decision to expand the program.

Democrat Gov.

Nathan Deal announced Monday that the state will not expand Medicaid for the first time since the program was created in 1996, after Gov.

AJ Greer said that he received threats.

Deal said in a statement Monday that he is now considering whether to expand Medicaid in the state.

The governor has long said the program should be expanded.

The Republican-controlled legislature in Georgia had approved an expansion of the program in 2015, but lawmakers rejected it in 2017.

Deal said in his statement Monday the governor would not change his mind.

“I will continue to work with all interested parties to expand health care coverage for Georgians and the nation,” Deal said.

Republicans and some Democrats have long pushed for Medicaid expansion.

Democrats say they would instead expand the programs eligibility criteria.

The Georgia Legislature passed a bill last year that included a $250,000 cap on Medicaid expansion and required that it be expanded by 2020.

The GOP-controlled House passed a similar bill, but the Senate has not acted on it.

A spokeswoman for Deal declined to comment on the news.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.