JACKSON, Miss.–Chances are you are affected by Mediciad. Be it a relative, someone you know, or yourself, you are going to benefit from Medicaid dollars this month. But, maybe not next month if state lawmakers can’t come up with a solution to a big problem: the joint federal/state program was left unauthorized at the end of this year’s legislative session.
Put simply: Medicaid is over and done with July 1.
News Mississippi is holding lawmakers accountable. Each day until July 1, you’ll hear a countdown on the air, with information on what you need to do if you want this program reauthorized.
The story in brief is that state Democrats want to see Medicaid expanded under ObamaCare. At the very least, they want it debated this year.
Republicans, like Gov. Bryant, believe it’s a portal for immediate ObamaCare implementation in the state and expanding it would ultimately cost the state millions it cannot afford.
So, in response to that, at the very end of the session, Democrats got enough votes to successfully bid against giving matching state funds to the program, which means federal funds go away, too.
Democrat Rep. Steve Holland told News Miss. last month that if, after an up and down vote on the issue, it could not be resolved, then Democrats would capitulate and vote to reauthorize Medicaid as it stands now.
Gov. Bryant said he’s ready to run the program by executive order, if necessary, which would, at best, be an incomplete version of the program.
In any case, a special session would be required to get the program going again, to the tune of $30,000 in taxpayer money per day.
In general, the solution on getting the lawmakers in gear is to call your Representative or your Senator.