South Mississippi Legislators Talk About Possible Solution To Medicaid Crisis - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

South Mississippi Legislators Talk About Possible Solution To Medicaid Crisis

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -- Governor Haley Barbour has already asked the Division of Medicaid to cut more than $375 million to offset the shortfall.

"Unfortunately the cuts, the $375 million will come in terms of hospital reimbursements, so there is a true fear that some hospitals may decide not to participate in the Medicaid program. And doctors may decide not to participate in the Medicaid program," said State Representative Michael Janus.

Like all of his colleagues in the State House of Representatives, Michael Janus is hoping the legislature can come up with a way to fund the $90 million Medicaid shortfall during the restart of a special session on August 4.

Governor Haley Barbour wants lawmakers to pass his plan to restructure hospital taxes to help pay for Medicaid. Representative Michael Janus thinks the Governor's idea is a good one.

"I favor a hospital tax. The hospital association has come to us with a proposal. They paid it in the past. They're willing to continue to pay it. They realize they will continue to get six dollars back for every one put in," Janus said.

Democratic Representative Bo Eaton says there's a better answer.

"I believe the House of Representatives will stay in tack with some tax on tobacco, and some tax on the hospitals to overcome the shortfall we have in the Medicaid budget," Eaton said.

One thing all the state's legislators can agree on is that something has to be done soon. If the legislature doesn't come up with a funding solution, Medicaid cuts will go into affect August 6.

By Toni Miles 

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