Lawmakers convene today amid uncertainty

The Mississippi Legislature will convene in special session at 10 a.m. today to take up funding and reauthorizing the Division of Medicaid for the new fiscal year, which begins Monday.

The question is whether legislators also will take up a proposal to expand Medicaid to cover those earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $15,000 annually for an individual, as is allowed by federal law.

A rift between Democrats in the House, trying to force a vote on the issue of expansion, and the Republican leadership, trying to block such a vote, resulted in the program not being funded or reauthorized during the regular 2013 session.

In today’s special session, the Republican leadership, particularly Speaker Philip Gunn of Clinton and Gov. Phil Bryant, will continue to try to block an expansion vote.

But Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, said, “We’re going to talk about Medicaid, all facets of it, including of the expansion.”

Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
6/27/13