Mississippi Medicaid won’t seek midyear infusion of money

January 23, 2019, Sun Herald, Emily Wagster Pettus, Associated Press-  Mississippi’s Medicaid director said Wednesday that the program will not seek additional money for the final half of the state budget year. This is the first time that has happened in the past five years. Director Drew Snyder told lawmakers that enrollment has decreased, accounting for some savings. The current budget year ends June 30. Snyder said the Division of Medicaid is requesting a modest funding increase of about 2 percent for the year that begins July 1 - less than the cost of health care is rising nationwide. Many of Mississippi’s rural hospitals have struggled in recent years, and health advocates say expanding Medicaid could help alleviate some of those financial problems by reducing the number of uninsured residents. Roy Mitchell, executive director of the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program, listened to Snyder’s presentation Wednesday and came away optimistic that the Bryant administration is softening its position. “If the governor’s going to step out of the way and let the Legislature decide this, let it be,” Mitchell told reporters after the committee meeting. “That’s very encouraging to hear that from the director of Medicaid.

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