Speaking to the state’s newspaper executives last week at the Mississippi Press Association annual convention, Gov. Haley Barbour left no doubt about his position on the Medicaid funding standoff – he’s preparing to cut Medicaid.
Barbour supports Senate Bill 2013 that would institute a $167-per-day assessment, or tax, on state hospitals. Authored by Democratic state Sen. Hob Bryan of Amory, it passed the Senate by a vote of 41 to 7.
Beyond that, Barbour appears unwilling to compromise and says he’ll cut the program if Medicaid isn’t funded based on SB 2013.
A growing number of legislators in both houses and from both parties in the Legislature is becoming impatient with Barbour over the fact that while he charged them with providing stable funding for the Medicaid program, he tied one hand behind their backs in an effort to exclude them from the ability of making higher cigarette taxes part of the Medicaid funding solution.