It appears the Senate leadership and Gov. Haley Barbour still would rather place a higher tax on hospitals than cigarettes.
The question now is whether the full Senate, as it normally does, will jump in line and follow the governor and its leadership.
Barbour and the Senate leadership are saying for the long-term stability of the state budget there must be a tax of about $90 million per year on hospitals.
That was the same thing they were saying this past summer during a special session. The Senate passed such a tax, but the House did not, saying a tax increase on cigarettes should be part of any solution to the $90 million hole in the Medicaid budget.
A matter of fact, during the special session the House by a up or down vote rejected the hospitals tax flat-out.