Medicaid Court Date Set Back

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A federal judge is scheduled to get update on the status of Medicaid in Mississippi, but the date was delayed until Mar. 14. The change gives lawmakers a chance to solve the agency's budget problems.

U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate was to decide Monday whether to further extend an order to keep coverage in place for 50,000 poor, elderly and disabled people, but the delay of the hearing also delays his decision-making process.

Wingate handed down his original order Oct. 1 and has already extended it once to keep people on the Medicaid rolls after Feb. 3.

He has been giving legislators time to decide how to handle Medicaid's budget problems.

The House and Senate have passed separate plans that include reinstating coverage for people in the optional Poverty Level Aged and Disabled category, or PLAD.

The two chambers also are trying to trim other Medicaid offerings to save money.