It’s easy to blame the Legislature.
Gov. Haley Barbour rightfully points out that legislators have known about the current $90 million hole in the Division of Medicaid since 2005.
The Republican governor also points out that the Legislature has yet to offer a permanent fix for the shortfall. For 2 1/2 years, the deficit was filled by the Legislature, with the governor’s blessing, by using federal funds provided to the state in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to aid in the recovery.
Those federal funds are gone, and the Legislature is deadlocked in a special session because it cannot agree on how to solve the problem.
The governor – citing the legislative inaction – has put in place a mechanism to make cuts in Medicaid, starting as soon as early August.
The Legislature is supposed to resume the special session on Aug. 4.