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Lawmakers primarily focused on cost of expanding Medicaid

JACKSON — Cost is the primary concern for Mississippi lawmakers faced with a decision on whether to expand the state Medicaid program with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The Clarion-Ledger reports lawmakers discussed the matter during a joint committee meeting of the Public Health and Welfare and the Insurance committees.

After the three-hour meeting, Sen. Dean Kirby, a Republican legislator from Pearl and chairman of the Public Health and Welfare Committee, said there isn’t a rush on the decision.

He said the state has time to make an informed decision since the Medicaid expansion portion of the Affordable Care Act won’t take effect until January 2014.

Dr. David Dzielak, director of the Mississippi Division of Medicaid, said costs could increase $1 billion over seven years.

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