Democrats Call on Changes in Medicaid

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The issue of Medicaid seems to have become a rallying point for state democrats as the party takes a new direction under its new chairman, former U.S. Congressman Wayne Dowdy.

"The Democratic Party is going to concentrate on the issues that affect the real people of Mississippi like health care for the elderly, this Medicaid issue, Gov. Barbour and the Republican members of the Legislature are misleading the people of Mississippi when they have a program to address the needs and concerns of 65,000 elderly and disabled people who depend on Medicaid for prescription drug benefits, the democrats are going to state up for those people," Dowdy said on Saturday.

Dowdy also says he wants the governor to call a special session to rescind the changes in Medicaid.

"It puts people in a very difficult position, these are the people who can least afford prescription drugs," Dowdy said.

Dowdy and other democrats say the money to fund the PLADs is there and say a recently filed bill to restore the 65,000 Mississippians cut from Medicaid was filed as an insurance policy of sorts.

"We have the money to take care of PLADs, we appropriated that money in Medicaid to take care of the PLAD's, so we're asking for a special session but we filed the bill for January in case he doesn't call a special session, we will have to deal with this in January," said Gloria Williamson, a state senator from District 18.