Mississippi should received about $23
million to cover a funding shortage in the Children's Health
Insurance Program, says Gov. Haley Barbour.
Mississippi was one of 14 states facing the possibility of
running out of money by September when the federal fiscal year
ends. Mississippi shortfall was expected to be about $15 million.
Congress has approved $650 million to cover shortages in
Mississippi, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North
Carolina, Wisconsin, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska,
Rhode Island and Alaska.
Barbour, in a statement released Friday, said that he was
notified of the funding by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary
The program offers children in low-income families access to
medical and dental care, prescription drug coverage and
immunizations. The Division of Medicaid operates the insurance
"Without the additional funds, Mississippi faced a serious
shortfall for this program," Barbour said.
Since 2002, some states have experienced shortages in funding
for the decade-old insurance program based on outdated allocations
set in law, said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus, a national
nonprofit advocacy organization that focuses on children's issues.
"National spending started exceeding the money the federal
government was providing," he said in a www.clarionledger.com
article "As a result, those projections didn't pan out."
Later this year, Congress is expected to consider reauthorizing
the program. Several governors, including Barbour, have asked for