Let’s preface this column with one clear-as-glass observation: Gov. Haley Barbour’s die-in-the-ditch opposition to a cigarette tax increase as part of an overall Medicaid funding solution is one that is irrational both from public policy and political standpoints.
Barbour’s unwavering protection of Big Tobacco from fair taxation throughout his tenure as governor – and the decision of Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant and other Republicans in the Legislature to stand dutifully by and let him do it – will likely cost the GOP in the future.
But that said, House Democrats hung their hats on two pegs in the ongoing Medicaid fight and neither of them are currently viable options to fund Medicaid in either the short or long term.
What the House has proposed is to continue to wallow in the irresponsible practice of funding Medicaid with non-recurring or “one-time” funds.