CL – Flaggs seeks to delay Medicaid cuts, Barbour says no

Anticipated cuts to Medicaid reimbursements for providers will go forward as scheduled, an aide to Gov. Haley Barbour said Wednesday.

The Division of Medicaid has been informing providers that reimbursements will be smaller through the end of the fiscal year because of budget cutbacks. The new budget year starts July 1.

State Rep. George Flaggs, D-Vicksburg, asked Barbour in a letter this week to delay the cuts, starting today, until lawmakers have a chance to review a proposal to restore $14 million to Medicaid’s budget from reserves.

The Legislature recessed Saturday until April 20.

“We have to look at ways to restore this,” Flaggs said. “We’re talking about the most vulnerable people in this state.”

More than 20 percent of Mississippi’s population is on Medicaid – a state and federally funded program that provides medical care to those who can’t afford it.

Barbour spokesman Dan Turner said the governor does not support a House plan to transfer $14 million from the health care trust fund.

“The governor is not going to delay the cuts,” Turner said.

Clarion-Ledger
4/1/10