Lawmakers Skeptical About Musgrove's Plan To Save Medicare

Top lawmakers are saying that they are skeptical of Gov. Ronnie Musgrove's plans to deal with the Medicaid deficit.

Members of the House and Senate money handling committees met at the Capitol before a standing-room-only crowd.

Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck says the Medicaid deficit is more than just a problem, it is a crisis. The agency is running at least $148 million short of money in the fiscal year that ends June 30th. It is expected to run out of money in February.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Gordon of Okolona says the governor's proposal to fix the problem is unworkable because it relies on money that will only be available for one year.

Musgrove wants to use $48 million now designated for a rural road program and borrow money for the roads. He also wants Mississippi's largest companies to pay taxes weekly instead of monthly, which he says will raise $100 million.

Tax Commission officials say the proposal will bring in only half that amount.