Congressman Chip Pickering says a deficit reduction bill passed Friday by the House of Representatives will provide about $850 million for Mississippi's Medicaid program, enough to fund about 8.5 months of the medical program for the poor and elderly.
Pickering says the bill will help the Medicaid program as Mississippi continues to recover from Hurricane Katrina. The state and federal governments normally split the cost of Medicaid.
Pickering says the House proposal provides that the federal funding will be 100 percent for 8.5 months, whatever amount the state budget numbers turn out to be.
House leaders now face talks with the Senate, which passed a much more modest deficit reduction plan earlier this month.