Lawmakers prepare for Medicaid battle in 2013 - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Lawmakers prepare for Medicaid battle in 2013

State lawmakers will tackle the issue of Medicaid expansion in the upcoming 2013 legislative session. State lawmakers will tackle the issue of Medicaid expansion in the upcoming 2013 legislative session.
PETAL, MS (WDAM) -

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare constitutional, Mississippi, like every other state, is left with the option of expanding Medicaid.

Whether to do that will be a major focus of the upcoming 2013 legislative session, according to Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and two local Republican lawmakers.

"It's terrible public policy, it makes no sense in the long-term for Mississippi taxpayers, said Reeves. "So, we're going to look at what our options are. I have staff members working right now with the Division of Medicaid, working with the federal government and others to try to determine what our options are going to be," Reeves said.

"The federal government gives us $3, the state matches $1, but do we have the $1," said Sen. Billy Hudson. "Can we afford it...that's the big question," he said. 

"I'm not really in favor of expanding the program now," said Rep. Larry Byrd. "I think that it's another one of those things that the government is going to send to us and then we'll end up having to fund it on our own later and it just creates a struggle for our state," Byrd said.

Reeves, Hudson and Byrd spoke to us during a visit to Petal's 3-D School last Tuesday.

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