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Medicaid Bill Fails to Pass House

By Daniel Cherry | Published 31 Jan 2013 08:18pm | comments
Democrats in the Mississippi House of Representatives are keeping the debate on Medicaid expansion alive this legislative session. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports, lawmakers defeated a bill that could have shut the door on expansion talks this year.
 
A House bill to reauthorize Mississippi's Medicaid program failed to gain enough favor with representatives because the bill didn't allow discussion on expanding Medicaid. Needing a three fifths majority, the bill failed by a vote of 62 to 52. House Minority Leader, Bobby Moak, a Democrat from Bogue Chitto says it's an issue that should, at least, see debate.
 
"Political pandering at this point doesn't do any good for either side. So let's just back off into the corner, bring out the legislation, so we can have a scholarly debate on the issue."
 
Immediately following the vote, Republican leadership condemned the action saying it endangers access to healthcare for children, the elderly, and the disabled. Here's Speaker of the House, Philip Gunn. 
 
"Their maneuver, if you want to call it that has effectively worked to terminate the services of those people, and I don't understand that. The leadership of the Democratic caucus has misguided them, and I think it's a short-sighted approach."
 
The Governor released a statement saying he thinks Democrats are threatening care to vulnerable citizens and calls their actions shameful. Democratic Representative Steve Holland of Plantersville responds... 
 
"Well of course they're going to say that. They're wrong, wrong, wrong! They ought to be ashamed for saying that. They are the ones that have been reluctantly drug into supporting Medicaid for years. Every Republican governor from Fordice on that we've had has tried to do something to destroy Medicaid. It's a matter of history, not Holland's opinion."
 
Democrats fought the bill in favor of a Senate version containing the code sections opening the possibility for Medicaid expansion.

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