Medicaid could die in June

A Senate committee on Tuesday killed its bill to keep the state Medicaid program alive beyond June as lawmakers continue agonizing over how to fund the multibillion-dollar program that provides health care for the poor.

“We’re going to see a lot of hair-pulling days ahead of us,” said Sen. Terry Burton, R-Newton, one the Senate’s chief budget writers.

Sufficiently funding Medicaid is among the many budget issues bedeviling the Legislature as it copes with the state’s economic downturn. “We’re going to get a lot pulling from all sides to do this or to do that,” Burton said.

The Senate Appropriations Committee rejected Burton’s plea to pass the bill, which is required to extend the state law authorizing Medicaid’s existence past its June expiration date.

John Mott Coffey
Commercial Dispatch
2/4/9