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Medicaid Expansion Bill Passes in Mississippi House

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JACKSON, Miss.–A Medicaid expansion bill passed the Mississippi House Wednesday on a vote of 96-20. That bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

“It is the first time a proposal such as this has even been up for consideration in our legislature. It is the first time leaders have been truly willing to have a conversation that goes beyond no,” said House Medicaid Committee Chairwoman Miss McGee, a Republican from Forrest County.
But, the bill still has a long way to go before it becomes law, and several stipulations before you see any benefit, if you are eligible.
To be eligible, you must work at least 20 hours per week, be a student, or be enrolled in a workforce training program. You cannot be eligible for insurance provided by your work and must not have voluntarily given up other health insurance. There are also copays that you would be responsible for.
It is estimated that about 200,000 Mississippians would be eligible for Medicaid under the conditions of the bill, if it becomes law.
The new law, if it happens, must be approved by the federal Centers for Medicaid.
It is estimated that the cost to Mississippi taxpayers would be about $150 million per year. For the first four years that would be paid for by a federal incentive. After that Mississippi would take advantage of a 90 percent federal match that would pay for all but $150 million. It is expected that cost could be covered for another four years. Following that, Mississippi’s portion would partly come from an assessment on hospitals.
“This plan, while not perfect, is a straightforward proposal that provides a way forward for low-income, hard working people of our state to have basic health coverage,” said McGee.
That coverage would be a basic plan, with copays for doctor visits and emergency care and ambulance rides.
“I’d make the case and I would offer the encouragement that sometimes it’s okay to do the right thing because it’s the right thing,” said McGee, before the vote. The passage was met with cheers.