The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 1/4/9

Forget the movies and books based on the German fantasy novel Die unendliche Geschichte (The Neverending Story) by Michael Ende about a parallel world under siege.

When the Mississippi Legislature is in session, the real Never Ending Story is the state’s Medicaid budget and how to pay for it. Medicaid is the federal-state public health care program for the aged, the blind, the disabled and members of low-income families with dependent children. Almost 40 percent of Mississippi’s Medicaid recipients are children, 25 percent are elderly and about 22 percent are disabled.

Every $1 expended by the state on Medicaid draws down $3 in federal funds to pay for public health care.