Lawmakers begin talks on Medicaid - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Lawmakers begin talks on Medicaid

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The pros and cons of Medicaid expansion were addressed this afternoon before a joint senate committee at the state capitol.

State director of Medicaid, David Dzielak told lawmakers without an expansion the state would still have to pay anywhere from $39 to $62 million a year because of the Affordable Care Act.

That act also gives the state the option to expand the program and receive billions of federal dollars to help do so. Dzielak says an expansion would add about 350,000 people to the Medicaid rolls.

Currently there's about 715,000. Lawmakers will be taking in as much information as they can before making a decision.

"We should have been thinking about it a long time ago and we have but we really need to know how it's going to affect us one way or the other. The pros, the cons, the more you know about a certain subject, the more you can make better decisions," said Senator Videt Carmichael, a republican from Meridian who chairs the senate insurance committee.

Whether to expand Medicaid will be presented to lawmakers in the upcoming session. Governor Phil Bryant opposes an expansion saying it will cost too much money in the long run.

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