Mississippi Medicaid Faces Funding Shortfall
Mississippi lawmakers and advocates say that if additional fundingfor the state's Medicaid program cannot be found, tens of thousandsof beneficiaries could be dropped from the program and services couldbe cut, the AP/MemphisCommercial Appeal reports. Mississippi lawmakers onWednesday convened the 2008 legislative session, and Medicaid fundingis a priority this year, according to the AP/Commercial Appeal.
Medicaid Executive Director Robert Robinson has asked for anadditional $168 million to run the program for fiscal year 2009, aswell as a deficit appropriation of $87 million to maintain operationsfor FY 2008. State budget writers have suggested a smaller increasefor FY 2009, and lawmakers have appropriated $513 million to theprogram for FY 2008.
Gov. Haley Barbour (R) said the fundingproblems stem from federal policy changes that affect the wayMississippi generates federal matching funds. The state also has beenusing one-time funding, including millions of dollars for HurricaneKatrina recovery efforts, to fix current budget gaps (Byrd,AP/Memphis Commercial Appeal, 1/7).
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