Lawmakers Restart Medicaid Negotiations

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Mississippi lawmakers are still debating whether to tax hospitals to help pay for Medicaid, the government health program for the needy.

The House and Senate voted Tuesday to send a bill back for more negotiations.

Lawmakers met a Monday night deadline to keep the issue alive by filing what they call a "dummy bill", a proposal without substance.

Gov. Haley Barbour wants lawmakers to set a hospital tax that will generate $90 million a year. It would replace a similar tax the state collected for about a dozen years. The federal government blocked the previous hospital tax in 2005.

House leaders are proposing a $45 million hospital tax, but the House and Senate haven't agreed on an amount.


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