Medicaid expansion has slim chance in Mississippi

Senate Public Health Committee Chairman Dean Kirby, R-Pearl, said he doesn’t think expansion will be approved this year to prepare for 2014. Even if a bill were to pass the House and Senate, Kirby said the governor has made it clear he’d veto it.

“We do not have the votes to override a veto, I’ll tell you that,” Kirby said.

Mississippi’s population is about 3 million. In September, 641,573 state residents were on Medicaid. An expansion could add an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 people. Estimates vary on how much an expansion would cost the state, and how much it would bring in over the next several years.

In October, researchers with the state Institutions of Higher Learning issued a report that examined three possible expansion scenarios: The high rate would be for 95 percent of newly eligible people to sign up for Medicaid coverage; the medium rate would be 85 percent participation; and the low rate would be 75 percent participation.

Hattiesburg American