Mississippi Receives Grant to Fight High Rates of HIV/AIDS

February 28, 2020, Jackson Free Press, Seyma Bayram -  In addition to saving rural hospitals, Medicaid expansion could provide more Mississippians with access to HIV/AIDS treatment, experts say. In fact, a recent study found that HIV rates increased significantly in states that did not expand their Medicaid coverage.

Could the state be paying 10 percent of cost instead of 100 percent for some mental health patients?

February 23, 2020, Mississippi Today, Bobby Harrison -  Medicaid expansion to cover primarily the working poor is not gaining much traction during the 2020 session of the Mississippi Legislature. While Delbert Hosemann indicated during his successful 2019 campaign for lieutenant governor that he would be willing to consider the issue, he has not – at least publicly – expended much political capital to place Medicaid expansion on the front burner during the early stages of his tenure as the Senate’s presiding officer. That is not surprising since Medicaid expansion does not seem likely to occur at this point with both Gov. Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn expressing opposition.

Trump’s Medicaid Chief Labels Medicaid ‘Mediocre.’ Is It?

February 21, 2020, Kaiser Health News, Phil Galewitz -  The Trump administration’s top Medicaid official has been increasingly critical of the entitlement program she has overseen for three years.Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, has warned that the federal government and states need to better control spending and improve care to the 70 million people on Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for the low-income population. She supports changes to Medicaid that would give states the option to receive capped annual federal funding for some enrollees instead of open-ended payouts based on enrollment and health costs. This would be a departure from how the program has operated since it began in 1965.

Appeals court rejects Trump-approved Medicaid work requirements

February 14, 2020, Politico, Rachana Pradhan and Susannah Luthi -  Critics of the rules say they are a thinly veiled effort to allow states, which jointly finance the program with the federal government, to pare down program enrollment. Last month, the top federal Medicaid official, Seema Verma, encouraged states to pursue another major conservative overhaul of the program: capped fundingfor some poor adults. Like the work rules, that proposal has received strong resistance from Democrats and Medicaid advocates, and it will also likely face court challenges. Friday’s appeals court decision also lashed the Trump administration for failing to account for how many Arkansans might lose coverage. In Arkansas, more than 18,000 people lost Medicaid coverage in 2018 as a result of the work rules, before they were invalidated by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg last year. Just a fraction of those enrollees rejoined the program while the rules were in effect, state data showed.

Mississippi lawmakers debate letting auditor see tax returns of people getting public aid

February 11, 2020, Hattiesburg America, Associated Press, Emily Wagster Pettus - Mississippi senators clashed Tuesday before passing a bill to let the state auditor see tax returns to verify the income of people enrolled in Medicaid or other public assistance programs. Supporters said the plan is designed to ensure people are not receiving benefits if they earn too much money. But critics questioned the timing and said Mississippi is looking for waste in the wrong place.

Trump’s $4.8 Trillion Budget Would Cut Safety Net Programs and Boost Defense

February 10, 2020, The New York Times, Jim Tankersley, Margot Sanger-Katz, Alan Rappeport and Emily Cochrane -  President Trump released a $4.8 trillion budget proposal on Monday that includes a familiar list of deep cuts to student loan assistance, affordable housing efforts, food stamps and Medicaid, reflecting Mr. Trump’s election-year effort to continue shrinking the federal safety net.