Gov. Barbour said Mississippi can't afford Medicaid - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gov. Barbour said Mississippi can't afford Medicaid

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WLOX) - The recently passed health care reform includes an expansion of Medicaid. Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Haley Barbour of Mississippi, tells CNN his state can't afford it and will have to raise taxes to cover it.

The comments came in an interview with CNN's Candy Crowley on the patio of a classic French Quarter restaurant, Brousard's in New Orleans on Sunday.

Governor Haley Barbour said, "If, in fact, this becomes law and goes into effect out in the four, five years from now, when it is supposed to go into effect, it is going to cost Mississippi state government $150 to $250 million minimum. And we don't have that money."

(Candy: will you have to raise taxes?)

"It is in fact a tax increase on the people of Mississippi and virtually every other state. States like California, in the billions of dollars per year. For us, a couple of hundred million dollars a year," said Governor Haley Barbour.

"And the fact is, we don't have the money. And expanding Medicaid, we have to expand it by about 50% in my state. We are going to go from 650,000 people on Medicaid to more than one million people on Medicaid," said Governor Haley Barbour.

Barbour continued, "Candidly, Candy, if somebody had proposed last year, self-standing without any other legislation, hey, I got a great idea, let's put about 15 million people on Medicaid, what would the American people have said? That's the craziest idea I ever heard of. Medicaid is always in financial trouble."

Barbour was in New Orleans for the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.

The conference is seen as the largest G-O-P gathering before the 2012 Republican National Convention.

That's when the party will nominate a candidate for president.

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