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Medicaid tech bill conference report...

Medicaid tech bill conference report filed, lawmakers wait for passage till budget is released

By: Sarah Ulmer - March 26, 2018

On Sunday House members took up the Medicaid budget bill, only to refer it back to conference after disagreements on what to do with the rewrite bill. The House and Senate have till Monday night at 6:00 to agree on a decision and must bring it to the floor by midnight.

Update 8:30 P.M.: Running close to the 8:00 deadline, the House passes a Medicaid Tech Bill conference report. Conferees on the bill say it includes language for rural hospitals, opioid text and a managed care audit. The question then is will the House and Senate agree on the report. So far, it has stayed intact with a vote to pass the budget bill, then hold it on a motion to reconsider. Word has it members are waiting until the tech bill passes which is expected tomorrow.

UPDATE 3:00 P.M.: The Senate convened after lunch, immediately brining up the Medicaid Appropriations bill conference report. Sen. Hob Bryan urged for Senators not to adopt the budget before a Tech bill was agreed upon.

“There is no reason in the world why we can’t have a conference bill on the Tech Bill if there is to be one, before we vote on the appropriations bill,” said Sen. Bryan. The appropriations bill has a midnight deadline, and the Tech bill has an 8:00 deadline.

Sen. Wiggins, author of the Technical Bill urged lawmakers not to vote the conference report down at this time. He said the tech bill was submitted to the House around 10:00 this morning and negotiations have been going as planned.

“All three conferee’s have signed it. The report reflects the two bills between the House an the Senate. There is no hidden agenda here,” said Wiggins. Wiggins stands by the report, that the language is good and even the Division of Medicaid has said it to be good policy.

The bill was voted on by use of the morning roll call. It passed 35-17, primarily down party lines.

UPDATE: Just before lunch on Monday the House filed another Medicaid report. This one, leaving out opioid/hospital language.

As of now the $6 billion budget for the Department of Medicaid has been put on hold after the approval of a motion made by Rep. Currie on Sunday. Her motion was to recommit the appropriations bill until a decision could be made on this years Medicaid Technical bill.

However, things aren’t looking good for the tech bill and was even rumored to die over the weekend before the General bill deadline. The state Hospital Association and insurance companies are at odds with the current state of the rewrite. Much of the pushback comes from what to do in respect to Mississippi True, a provider-run insurance plan who was not added to top three of managed care contractors for Medicaid earlier this year.

Currie made her motion after expressing concern that if the House were to pass the appropriations bill without a mandate of the Tech bill, than there was no way to make sure a tech bill would actually be passed.

The bill is currently back in conference until an agreement can be made.

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah:
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