Barbour: Medicaid changes could hamstring state finances

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) on Thursday stressed his state — and most others — would have to cut education spending, release inmates, impose new taxes and slash welfare programs in order to pay for Democrats’ proposed healthcare reforms.

Their legislation — which authorizes a manifest increase in Medicaid spending — would fall disproportionately on state governments that have struggled to balance their budgets amid this year’s economic slowdown, the governor said

“Every state is cutting [this and last year’s] budgets,” Barbour told reporters at a press conference this afternoon, predicting the Medicaid changes in particular would cost his state about $1.6 billion over the first six years.

“I don’t think you should expand Medicaid at all as part of the healthcare bill unless the federal government pays for it,” he added.

The Hill
12/17/9