Medicaid Changes Coming

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The countdown is on for thousands of Medicaid recipients in Mississippi. Forty-seven thousand people are scheduled to be removed from the state Medicaid rolls as of Oct. 1.

State Rep. George Flaggs said he is pleading with Gov. Haley Barbour to allow lawmakers to restore Medicaid benefits. Flaggs wants the Medicaid changes and the reauthorization of the Department of Human Services to be included in a special session.

Barbour spokesman Pete Smith said there's no need to roll back the Medicaid changes "because reform is working.''

This past spring, lawmakers approved a plan by Barbour to remove
65,000 people from Medicaid. Barbour touted the cuts as a way to save millions of dollars.

But even with the changes, Medicaid is asking for an extra $273 million in state funding to operate next fiscal year.

Medicaid is paid by state and federal tax money. Most of those losing Medicaid coverage are also covered by Medicare, a program funded by the federal government.