Mississippi House passes Medicaid renewal

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June 28, 2013


By Axel Spaeh

Jackson, Mississippi: During a special session called by Governor Phil Bryant, the Mississippi House of Representatives voted to renew and fund Mississippi's Medicaid program. The program was set to expire on July 1 without renewal by the Mississippi State Legislature, but the legislature ended its 2013 session without renewing the program. The House passed the Medicaid renewal 94-23. The biggest change in the bill to the existing program was the removal of a provision that requires the legislature to periodically review and renew the program.[1].

The bill that the House passed renewing Mississippi's Medicaid program did not include an expansion to cover an additional 300,000 people, as was pursued by Mississippi Democrats and is an option under the federal health law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010. Mississippi Republicans, including the Governor, have stated that they oppose the expansion because Mississippi cannot afford it, even with the majority of the costs covered by the federal government.[1]

The bill was held for further consideration after passing the House, and will now go the Mississippi State Senate. If the Senate passes the bill, it will need to be signed into law by the Governor before funding for the Medicaid program can continue.

Mississippi's medicaid program currently covers about 644,000 of Mississippi's nearly 3 million residents. Additionally, it provides a large source of income to nursing homes, hospitals, pharmacists and other health care providers.[1]

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