The Clarion-Ledger, 6/5/8

The impasse over Medicaid funding that brought a halt Wednesday to a special legislative session is likely to still be there when lawmakers reconvene in three weeks.

House Democrats are still pressing for a cigarette tax hike.

Gov. Haley Barbour and the Republican-led Senate remain just as firm on a hospital tax, although most Senate Democrats favor a cigarette tax increase.

In the interim, hospital administrators said, they will continue lobbying for the hospital tax despite their preference for a cigarette tax increase.

Hospital administrators also will use the recess to tell their stakeholders and staff about the impact of a hospital tax, said Sam Cameron, president and chief executive officer of Mississippi Hospital Association. Some administrators have said it could cause staff reductions, and lawmakers worry the tax will cause private health insurance costs to rise.