The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 7/16/8

Senate Public Health Committee Chairman Hob Bryan, D-Amory, called this week to say that House Democrats, the media and hospital executives who characterize the hospital tax adopted by the Senate as a “$167-per-day hospital bed tax” are misrepresenting the Medicaid bill he authored.

“The way opponents of the bill and the media in trying to explain it are talking, SB 2013 somehow levies a brand new $167-per-day tax on hospital patients,” said Bryan. “The public is being led to believe that this $167-per-day is something new that either they or Medicaid or their private insurance company will have to pay when they go into the hospital and that’s simply not true.”

Perhaps a little perspective on Sen. Bryan might be in order. Bryan is serving his 25th year in the state Senate. Mercurial, brilliant and generally acknowledged as a master of the state constitution and the Senate’s rules, Bryan is the GOP’s worst nightmare in the Legislature – a progressive Democrat who won’t back down from a fight and who knows both the law and the rules better than the vast majority of his Republican counterparts.