Judge Hears Arguments in Medicaid Dispute

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Attorneys say Gov. Haley Barbour's latest proposal to tax hospitals to generate money for the Medicaid program is the same plan the judge has already ruled against.

A group of Mississippi hospitals is challenging the governor's plan. Their attorneys, George Ritter and John Sneed, made their arguments Wednesday before Hinds County Chancery Judge William Singletary.

They said the new proposal from Barbour and the Division of Medicaid is a copy of a 2006 plan to tax hospitals.

Singletary ruled in July that Medicaid doesn't have the authority to set taxes or fees that hospitals must pay. He said only the legislature has that power.

Barbour's attorney, Steve Thomas, told Singletary that the plaintiffs are getting ahead of themselves. He said proposed provider cuts are still going through the administrative process.

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