Lawmakers Override Governor's Veto Of Medicaid

The Mississippi House and Senate voted overwhelmingly Friday to override the governor's vetoes of a Medicaid bills.

One bill dealt with Medicaid's budget for the fiscal year starting July 1. The other one tweaked the program to try to save an undetermined amount of money.

Gov. Ronnie Musgrove vetoed the bills because he said they left Medicaid $120 million short of what it needs next budget year.

Also Friday, lawmakers were moving ahead with separate bills to give the governor his wish for more flexibility in the program.

House leaders said they were trying to meet an obligation to help the needy but not the greedy. Rep.

Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, said if lawmakers plowed forward with proposals to add more flexibility and accountability and to remove a restriction on how much money Medicaid can spend each quarter of the fiscal year, "not one living, breathing soul'' will have to removed from any nursing home.

Musgrove has said up to 13,000 people could be evicted from nursing homes unless lawmakers put more money into Medicaid, a federal-state health coverage program for the needy, aged and disabled.

Holland said: "We are more morally pure than that and we are more ethically sound than that.''