Mississippi House Approves Money for Clinics

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Jackson, Miss.

The Republican-led Mississippi House has voted to give $4.8 million to health clinics that provide primary care for low-income patients.

House Bill 413, which passed Monday, is favored by Gov. Phil Bryant. It goes to the Senate, where prospects are uncertain.

Democrats say the $4.8 million is minuscule compared to the federal dollars Mississippi could collect by expanding Medicaid, an option under the health overhaul that President Barack Obama signed into law.

Bryant and other top Republicans say they oppose Medicaid expansion because they don't trust promises of federal funding.

House Public Health Committee Chairman Sam Mims says about 55 clinics could apply for a share of the $4.8 million, using it to hire employees or expand hours.

Democrats say Medicaid expansion would enable patients to receive comprehensive coverage.