Medicaid in Mississippi at a critical point - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Medicaid in Mississippi at a critical point

The legislative whirlwind of Medicaid expansion is now at a critical point. A special session has yet to be called leaving the health benefits of approximately 600,000 Mississippians in question.

Governor Bryant says House Democrats are holding Medicaid recipients hostage by not going back to the bargaining table with Republicans until they agree to expand Medicaid for another 300,000 Mississippians. However, if the state legislature doesn't renew the current Medicaid bill, it will expire on July 1. Mississippi hospitals are also in a crisis. Until they know how a failure to expand Medicaid will affect the federal funds they receive, they can't budget for the next year.    

Bryant says, "Barrack Obama designed this train wreck known as Obamacare. He took away their DSH payments, not the state of Mississippi. The federal government through Obamacare said we are going to remove your Medicare DSH payments and your Medicaid DSH payments. They're looking to the wrong capital. The National Hospital Association agreed to Obamacare and now they're saying it's a terrible thing. It's going to close us down. Well you need to be careful who you associate with and what you agree to do. Now they're having what we call buyers remorse with Obamacare and I'm the guy that's trying to protect them from it."

The governor says he has made significant inroads with restoring federal DSH payments. Bryant and the federal Department of Health and Human Services have ironed out a deal to restore federal DSH payment to the President's budget. If the measure passes the U.S. House and Senate, DSH payments will not go away.

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