House, Senate to Discuss Medicaid

By  | 

The chairman of the House Medicaid appropriations subcommittee says the public deserves a public accounting of that agency's budget since Governor Haley Barbour has criticized its past overspending.

To that end, Rep. Steve Holland said Mississippians concerned about the Medicaid budget can attend monthly hearings to find out where the money is going.

The Legislature passed the Medicaid Reform Act during the 2004 session.

Barbour said the legislation would curtail costs in the quickly growing Medicaid budget by removing 65,000 people who are eligible for healthcare through the federal-only Medicare program. Medicaid is a state-federal healthcare program.

Holland hasn't decided on a date for the first hearing this month. He was considering Tuesday, the same day Senate Public Health and Welfare Chairman Alan Nunnelee plans to hold the first of two hearings on the Medicaid changes. Holland said the hearings will be held every month for the rest of the budget year.

Agency spending is already public record in Mississippi. The information can be obtained at the Joint Legislative Budget office or the Department of Finance and Administration. Holland says both of those agencies will be involved in his hearings.