As state agencies make final adjustments to budget proposals for the next fiscal year, one division of state government is already becoming a focal point for next week's joint legislative budget committee.
"Medicaid expansion is going to be a part of the discussion next week, next year and probably for the next five years," said Republican Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves.
Reeves is opposed to any type of Medicaid expansion in the state. While he believes some type of reform is needed, he says an expansion would have no long term benefit.
"There are things that have to be done to reform the healthcare system. The reality is that the adding, in our state as Obamacare would do, of 400,000 to 500,000 Mississippians on to the Medicaid rolls, we just don't believe is the right way to do it," said Reeves.
The federal government would pay for most of an expansion with about $10 billion spread out over the next five years. Reeves says the federal money would eventually run out and more folks on the rolls would end up costing the state in the long run.
"That makes no sense to me," said Democratic Representative and budget committee member George Flaggs.
Flaggs says not expanding Medicaid is a disservice to the state. As Reeves predicts another budget cut for just about every state agency, Flaggs says he's not ready to go that route just yet, especially with money available from the federal government.
"I just think that it's a no-brainer. To leave $10 billion on the table and see agencies continue to suffer and continue to under fund Medicaid is a disaster," said Flaggs of Vicksburg.
Reeves says the disaster is the current Affordable Care Act and an overreach of the federal government.
"The way in which this administration when about it, while it may have been well intentioned, it simply is not affordable for state and local governments," said Reeves.
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:13 PM EDT2013-05-24 01:13:14 GMT
Two elementary school girls were allegedly sexually assaulted by another female student. One incident happening while the two girls were at school. Two mothers are now speaking out about their daughters.More >>
Two Jackson mothers are speaking out after they say their daughters were sexually assaulted by another female student. One of the incidents allegedly happened at school.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:31 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:31:22 GMT
The pastor and members of a Jefferson county church make the gruesome discovery of a body on the way to Bible study Wednesday evening. Sheriff Peter Walker said a woman's body was found just before 6:30More >>
Jefferson County Sheriff Peter Walker has identified the woman found dead in the cemetery of East Mount Olive Baptist Church Wednesday night.
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:05 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:05:30 GMT
A Jackson Public School district principal has had her license suspended for one year. Dr. Lisa Andrus-Johnson is the principal at Watkins Elementary school.A spokesperson for the Mississippi DepartmentMore >>
A Jackson Public School district principal has had her license suspended for one year. Dr. Lisa Andrus-Johnson is the principal at Watkins Elementary school.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:34 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:34:55 GMT
Chokwe Lumumba covered a wide range of issues in a one-on-one interview Wednesday evening. Lumumba is the winner of the Democratic Primary runoff for mayor of Jackson and he has a strong chance to winMore >>
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Thursday, May 23 2013 8:00 PM EDT2013-05-24 00:00:32 GMT
We've taken numerous calls from taxpayers who are still waiting on their state tax refund. Three on your side went straight to the source to find out why. While 75% of the refund checks have been mailedMore >>
Mississippi's state income tax refunds are a little slow this year. While 75% of the refund checks have been mailed out, thousands of Mississippians are still waiting.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 6:45 PM EDT2013-05-23 22:45:01 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A baby fights to survive at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in critical condition after being hit by an SUV with his mother behind the wheel, according to police. An orange circle marks the pointMore >>
A baby fights to survive at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in critical condition after being hit by an SUV with his mother behind the wheel, according to police.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:38 PM EDT2013-05-23 21:38:18 GMT
The picture of a George County dog set on fire is disturbing. Authorities say the circumstances surrounding how fire consumed the dog are shocking. According to George County Sheriff Dean Howell, 20-year-oldMore >>
Socks, the dog reportedly burned this week by his owner, has died. That word comes from a George County Sheriff's deputy. Socks succumbed to injuries suffered after 20-year-old Brandon Pierce allegedly set his dog on fire Tuesday night. The suspect told deputies he torched the dog because he "wanted to help the dog go to heaven."More >>