It's been a sticking point at the state capitol ever since Mississippi was given the option of whether to expand the state's Medicaid program under what's known as "Obamacare." Democrats want an expansion, while Republicans are against it.
"All we've asked for is let us debate it, let's get a vote and let's see where we are," said Rep. Cecil Brown, a democrat from Jackson.
In a compromising effort Wednesday, Democrats say they're willing to work with GOP leadership and Governor Phil Bryant who has concerns on whether disproportionate share payments will still be paid to local hospitals under an expansion.
That federal money is paid to hospitals to offset their costs of treating patients without insurance. Bryant believes the money will still be paid without an expansion. Democrats argue the money would either be greatly reduced or eliminated and leave many hospitals having to get rid of staff to make up for the loss.
"People will lose jobs and people will lose access to healthcare, particularly in our rural communities," said Sen. David Blount, a Democrat from Jackson.
Bryant maintains it's simply a threat from the White House to expand "Obamacare" and a move the state can't afford.
"Its intimidation to try and ask states to use primarily if they will a state exchange as a vehicle to expand "Obamacare,'" said Bryant.
To strike up a deal, Democrats are making an offer. they want to include a trigger clause in legislation that an expansion would only happen if those payments are reduced. If the payments remain, an expansion would not happen.
"We don't agree with his concerns but that's ok. He's the governor. He has every right to be concerned," said Brown. "We just say, 'Ok, if you're right we won't expand. If you're wrong, we will expand.' That seems to take care of the argument he's making."
For any of that to happen lawmakers will have to revive a Medicaid re-authorization bill that died Tuesday. That bill authorizes the program to continue operating in the state. Democrats hope they can bring the bill back to life and get the ball rolling on expansion legislation.
"This is an opportunity for all of those who say that they care about moving the state forward. This is one of the things we can do," said Rep. Robert Johnson, a Democrat from Natchez.
If an expansion does happen in Mississippi, an estimated 300,000 people would be added to the Medicaid rolls.
Under this plan, Democrats say legislation will allow time for a wait and see approach on what will happen from the federal government.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:58 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:58:13 GMT
The votes are in, and preliminary results show Chokwe Lumumba has come out on top in the Democratic Party Runoff Election against Jonathan Lee. With 100% of precincts reporting, Lumumba claims the electionMore >>
The votes are in and preliminary results show Chokwe Lumumba has come out on top in the Democratic Party Runoff Election against Jonathan Lee.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:34 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:34:41 GMT
NOTE: Photos and videos will be added to this story later in the evening. The Walthall County Sheriffs Department along with The Humane Society of the United States are in the process of raiding a puppyMore >>
Among the dogs, many are dead, and skeletal remains were mixed with living animals in small, dark, filthy enclosures.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:21:59 GMT
James Hutto interrupted his own capital murder trial Tuesday morning, angry that judge Bill Gowan decided against the admissibility of certain evidence. "None of that matters? F***. I don't give a f***More >>
James Hutto, accused of capital murder in the beating death of 81-year-old Ethel Winstead Simpson of Clinton, expressed anger over certain evidence in court Tuesday.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 2:15 PM EDT2013-05-21 18:15:12 GMT
The two men battling for the chance to become Jackson's next mayor campaigned into the night as voters prepared to go to the polls for Tuesday's democratic primary runoff. On the WLBT 6pm report, we talkedMore >>
The two leading men battling for the chance to become Jackson's next mayor campaigned into the night as voters prepared to go to the polls for Tuesday's Democratic Primary runoff.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 5:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 21:48:55 GMT
The storm system from Oklahoma is moving eastward Tuesday night. A Tornado Watch is in effect for Humphreys, Attala and Holmes counties until 10 p.m. Tuesday. The brunt of the action will stay northMore >>
The storm system from Oklahoma is moving eastward Tuesday night. A Tornado Watch is in effect for Humphreys, Attala and Holmes counties until 10 p.m. Tuesday.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:35 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:35:19 GMT
The Mississippi Tea Party carried a nationwide protest of the IRS to the streets of downtown Jackson at high noon. The issue, IRS security of conservative groups like the tea party. We found some 20-25More >>
The Mississippi Tea Party carried a nationwide protest of the IRS to the streets of downtown Jackson at high noon. The issue is IRS security of conservative groups like the Tea Party. More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >>
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 11:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:48:15 GMT
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.A witness told police that the four girls, ages 7, 5, 3 and 1, had been in the same dirtyMore >>
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:35 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:35:44 GMT
Linda Gale Reed is accused of stealing over $20,000 from her employer in Copiah County, Moore Fabrication. That's what led investigators to change her status from missing to wanted during their 2012 searchMore >>
Linda Gale Reed is accused of stealing over $20,000 from her employer in Copiah County, Moore Fabrication. That's what led investigators to change her status from "missing" to "wanted" during their 2012 search following her disappearance.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:41 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:41:07 GMT
The Jackson Police Department is searching for two men who robbed a cell phone store Monday night. Shortly before 7 p.m., two male suspects entered the T-Mobile store at 4924 I-55 north. They robbedMore >>
The Jackson Police Department is searching for two men who robbed a cell phone store Monday night.More >>
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