Mississippi House of Representatives to Reconsider House Medicaid Bill
This afternoon, the House Rules Committee called up and considered Senate Bill 2207 (SB2207), the Medicaid repealer extension bill passed by the Senate last week. The bill was tabled in committee and therefore will not move to the House floor for debate.
“The decision to kill the Senate Medicaid Technical bill was not made lightly,” said Speaker Gunn. “However, there are not enough votes in the House to expand Medicaid. Because of this, the House was faced with what would have been a long and divisive debate on the issue of expanding Medicaid under Obamacare, which would have served no purpose and would have ended with the bill being defeated. I said two weeks ago after House Democratic leadership advised its members to defeat the House Medicaid Technical bill that it was a misguided and premature decision on their part.
“Allowing Obamacare to expand Medicaid in Mississippi is not an option today,” he said.
Speaker Gunn said the House Democratic leadership has the opportunity to encourage House Democrats to vote with the House Republicans tomorrow and reconsider the House Medicaid Technical bill, House Bill 560 (HB560). This is the last option for the bill that gives Medicaid legislative oversight to survive. Without a technical bill, the Governor will have to run the Medicaid program by executive order.
“Until we have a clearer understanding of all the ramifications of Obamacare and its proposed expansion in Mississippi, there will not be a debate in the Mississippi House of Representatives,” continued Speaker Gunn.
Friday morning, House members will be asked to reconsider and pass HB560. The bill would essentially accomplish the same thing as SB2207. However the Senate bill, which does not have Medicaid expansion in it, would have allowed for an amendment to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.
“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 HB560 passes, the Medicaid program will continue as it now exists. If it 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 Governor may well have to step in and run the program through executive order,” he said. “I encourage House members to pass HB560 tomorrow and move the process along to the Senate. This is the best course of action to continue providing services to the beneficiaries of the current Medicaid program.”
Posted February 14, 2013 - 3:50 pm