Democratic lawmakers propose Medicaid expansion alternative

JACKSON — Democrats in the Mississippi Legislature are proposing a way to provide health coverage to about 300,000 people without expanding Medicaid.

They say Mississippi should enact a plan similar to what Arkansas is proposing — using federal money to help low-income people buy private health insurance.

About two-dozen Democrats from the House and Senate attended a news conference Wednesday at the Capitol.

They say they’re asking Republican leaders, including Gov. Phil Bryant, to consider their new proposal as a way to end the stalemate over the future of Medicaid.

Because of partisan disputes over expanding Medicaid, legislators ended their 2013 session without approving a budget for the program or even authorizing it to stay in business beyond the current budget year, which ends June 30.

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