The Clarion-Ledger, 8/25/8

Attorney General Jim Hood said today he will not defend Gov. Haley Barbour’s latest plan to pay for Medicaid as the case goes before a Hinds County judge this week.

A group of hospitals is challenging Barbour’s proposal to raise their taxes, cut Medicaid services and replace the cuts with federal money associated with the health care program. Hinds County Chancery Court Judge William Singletary is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday.

Hood, a Democrat, said in a statement that he must “make sure that claims made by one branch of government do not violate the powers of the other two branches.”

“Due to the specific issues involved in this case, we would not be able to raise defenses that could conflict with the powers of my other two clients — the legislative and judicial branches,” Hood said.