The Mississippi Press, 6/30/8

When Gov. Haley Barbour addressed the Mississippi Press Association Friday he had only one subject on his mind — Medicaid.

The Republican governor vowed to make harsh cuts beginning next week in the health care program that provides 600,000 Mississippians — mainly elderly and children — with insurance coverage if legislators do not approve filling a $90 million gap in state funding. Lawmakers returned to the Capitol Thursday to address the Medicaid issue in the second special session this year.

“This whole scrap is about politics,” Barbour said to about 40 members of the media at Beau Rivage Casino and Resort. “I think it is the height of irresponsibility to say we’ll deal with it in the regular session.”