Gov. Phil Bryant has repeatedly expressed his opposition to the Affordable Health Care Act and has attempted to block or prolong its full implementation in the State of Mississippi, despite the fact that, through the blessed contributions from the national coffers by our fellow American neighbors in New Jersey, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania, the federal government has agreed to pay 100% of the costs of expanding Medicaid coverage for nearly 300,000 Mississippians for the first four years of the expansion and 90% of the costs for the 5th, 6th and 7th year. Sounds like a good deal, right? …Not to everyone.
Speaker Philip Gunn, in pleading his case for not expanding Medicaid for additional children, patients in nursing homes, and some of our most vulnerable citizens, said that HB 560 should be enacted to continue Medicaid coverage for many of our children, patients in nursing homes and some of our most vulnerable citizens. …Pause while you read that again.
In a press statement released Thursday, Speaker Gunn, essentially serving as the voice of the Governor in the House, said:
“Allowing Obamacare to expand Medicaid in Mississippi is not an option today. House Bill 560 is carefully drafted to forbid Obamacare expansion; So, we find it prudent to discard the Senate bill and use our own instead,” said Speaker Gunn.
If HB 560 passes, the Medicaid program will continue, as it now exists.
If HB 560 fails, Medicaid’s continued existence will be in doubt, and many of Mississippi’s children, patients in nursing homes and some of our most vulnerable citizens will be at risk.
The Medicaid program must be renewed this year, but lawmakers were right today to vote down HB 560, which was “carefully drafted to forbid Obamacare expansion.” All Mississippians deserve a chance for healthcare. And they have the following Representatives to thank for giving them the chance to live to fight another day.
Senate Floor Session