JACKSON, MS (AP/WLOX) - The Mississippi Senate has approved two measures that keep Medicaid alive and funded beyond this weekend, when the program has been on track to expire. The Senate action comes Friday, the second day of a special legislative session called by Gov. Phil Bryant.
"After good, lengthy legislative debate, the Senate reauthorized and funded Medicaid without expanding under Obamacare just as they did during the regular session," Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said. "I look forward to the call being expanded and the House sending us the bill addressing technical details of the program today. We should not stay here another day and cost taxpayers another penny."
Both bills passed the House on Thursday but were held on a procedural motion that prevented them from moving immediately to the Senate. The House removed that roadblock Friday morning.
Because of the partisan dispute over whether to expand Medicaid, legislators ended their regular session without funding or the program or authorizing it to stay alive beyond June 30, the end of the current budget year. Lawmakers now appear to be on track to renew Medicaid without expanding it.
The program already covers one in five Mississippians.