Barbour heavily leaned on lawmakers to tack $90 million in bed taxes on hospitals. After initially wanting no bed tax levied on hospitals, legislators eventually gave Barbour $60 million, which would escalate to $90 million in three years.
“If the state does not provide us with relief in regard to the Medicaid match, then it is likely that we will have to consider shutting down programs and laying off employees,” said Phaedre Cole, deputy director of programs for Region 6’s Life Help Community Mental Health Center in Greenwood, which employs 366 people.
This year, the Republican signed three significant tax bills into law, and he didn’t do so grudgingly. Barbour lobbied legislators for a hospital tax to help fund Medicaid and for two increases in the cigarette excise tax.
(Mississippians) would like to see the expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid as a number of states have done, said Roy Mitchell, director of the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program.
Lawmakers sent a Medicaid reauthorization plan to Gov. Haley Barbour hours before the new fiscal year began today, along with dozens of other funding bills intended to keep state government running smoothly.
Most parts of the budget are ready for votes in the House and Senate. But negotiators still have not resolved how to fund Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the needy.