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Some lawmakers balk, but Medicaid expansion still has chance

JACKSON — Some state senators aren’t ready to expand Medicaid, but they are keeping the option alive for later in the session.

The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee passed Senate Bill 2207 yesterday. The measure reauthorizes the government health insurance for the poor.

Committee members rejected an amendment from Sen. John Horhn, a Jackson Democrat, to add hundreds of thousands of people to the rolls. Horhn wants Mississippi to adopt the expansion called for by the federal health overhaul.

Crucially, the bill contains language saying who’s eligible for Medicaid. That means senators or representatives could expand Medicaid later. Democrats denied House leaders the 60 percent supermajority needed to reauthorize Medicaid last week because the House bill didn’t include eligibility sections, blocking amendments. Thus the Senate bill is the only option remaining.

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