The Clarion-Ledger, 2/21/8

A bill that would hike cigarette taxes by $1 a pack will hit the House floor today, sparking a debate over how best to fund the increasing costs of providing Medicaid services to Mississippians.

The state’s 18-cent cigarette tax is among the lowest in the nation. House Bill 1013 would raise it to $1.18. The legislation recently cleared two House committees.

Medicaid needs millions of dollars to continue serving citizens. If funding is not found, cuts in services will be required, officials have said.

GOP Gov. Haley Barbour has proposed a tax on hospitals instead.