Medicaid expansion won’t come without budgetary consequences in Mississippi. That’s the message circulated this week by the Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee to the state’s education lobby leaders as the time left for reauthorization of Medicaid for FY 2014 draws shorter.
The decision by the Mississippi Supreme Court to grant convicted quadruple murderer Willie Jerome Manning a stay of execution on Tuesday is one likely decided on the side of both political and legal caution in light of recent developments.
Is it appropriate to talk about Gov. Phil Bryant’s successful courtship of the Yokohamo Tire Company plant to West Point made public this week in the same breath with economic development icons like the state’s Nissan and Toyota plants?
The decision by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood to appoint his predecessor Mike Moore and Ridgeland attorney Billy Quin as outside counsels to handle the state’s litigation against BP over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill will draw some familiar political fire.
In a systematic effort to bolster efforts to “primary” any incumbent Republicans who fail to walk the hard right political agenda of the Tea Party and similar groups, some members of Congress are trying to separate the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP – read that as food stamps – from the 2013 federal farm bill.
Mississippi faces both short-term and long-term decisions on the state Medicaid program and those decisions are beginning to be focused more intently on what the real debate has been about all along – whether Mississippi hospitals can deal with the problem of uncompensated care while state government resists a quick expansion of the Medicaid program through the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare.”
Gov. Phil Bryant this week celebrated the legislative passage of much of his “Education Works” agenda. House Speaker Phillip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves both touted passage of a charter schools bill with Bryant’s pledge to sign it.
While recent national press attention to ongoing problems at Mississippi’s G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery Veterans Administration Medical Center in Jackson is welcome and needed, the failures of the overall VA service apparatus in Mississippi are not recent problems.
While the battle continues between state Republicans and other fiscal conservatives intent on focusing on the long-terms costs of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act and Democrats, health care advocates and state hospitals intent on focusing on the short-term benefits, the fact remains that one way or another, the costs of providing health care for the poor, the blind, the aged and the disabled will be paid by the taxpayers.
In most years and certainly in recent years, Mississippi’s annual state legislative battle over Medicaid has been different than it is in 2013.