The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 6/29/8

Perhaps the most perplexing aspect of the current debate over how to fund a $90 million deficit in state funds for Medicaid is that Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, and Gov. Haley Barbour are on the same side.

Both oppose using a cigarette tax increase to fund the deficit; both support placing a $167.25-per-day, per-patient tax on hospitals based on the number of patients the hospitals had in 2005.

Republicans, who in the past have seldom heeded Bryan’s words, are lining up to praise him in the ongoing special session, which is deadlocked on the Medicaid issue.

As reporters questioned Bryan on Friday afternoon, Rep. Jerry Turner, R-Baldwyn, thanked him for his work on the issue.

A chuckling Sen. Doug Davis, R-Hernando, said, “I’ve enjoyed being on his team. It’s much more fun having Hob on your side than against you.”