House Public Health Chairman Steve Holland met privately with Gov. Haley Barbour Wednesday. He said Barbour wants to delay Medicaid changes until October 1 so the state will have enough time to distribute information about free or discounted drugs available to the needy.
After a 45 minute long meeting with Barbour, the Mississippi Legislative Conservative Coalition voted to ask the governor to consider delaying implementation of Medicaid changes for 90 days past July 1, when it is to take effect.
It was brought out in that discussion that a 90 day extension could cost the state as much as an additional $11 million that will have to come from somewhere in the budget.
The consensus seemed to be, according to member Greg Snowden, that the additional time would be very beneficial in allowing the Medicaid Division to fully educate recipients, pharmacists, physicians, the media, and the public generally as to just how the new program is going to work. Holland is not a member of MLCC.
Sixty-five thousand people are supposed to be cut off Medicaid
on July 1, the beginning of the new state budget year. But legislators have been hit hard with criticism from people worried about losing health coverage.
Barbour spokesman Pete Smith said the governor is reviewing all
options and wants to make sure people have enough information about
free or discounted drugs.
Holland said he doesn't want to cut anyone off Medicaid, but if the cuts stand, he wants them delayed until at least December 31.