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Mississippi House Committee Approves Medicaid Expansion Bill in Historic Move


For the first time, the Medicaid Committee of the Mississippi House of Representatives has worked to advance a bill that would allow the federal government to extend Medicaid coverage to a potential population of more than 210,000 Mississippians.

The discussion on House Bill 1725, which was sponsored by House Speaker Jason White, a Republican from the West, in his first year as Speaker of the House, took less than fifteen minutes, and there was almost no disagreement from committee members on Tuesday afternoon at the Mississippi State Capitol.

According to House Medicaid Committee Chair Missy McGee, a Republican from Hattiesburg, “The priority of this committee for this session and the speaker of the house has been to find health care options and insurance for our low work, low income workers in Mississippi,” McGee stated.

“We are aware that we are the state with the highest number of deaths that could have been avoided. At the national level, Mississippi has the lowest life expectancy of any state in the United States.

We are the leading state in terms of newborn maternal and fetal death, and as a result, we are aware that we need to improve our efforts to provide Mississippians with access to medical care.

The bill would require the Mississippi Division of Medicaid to enter into negotiations with the federal government in order to obtain a waiver to expand Medicaid for only working poor individuals who make no more than 138% of the federal poverty line, which is approximately $28,000 per year for an individual.

If the bill were to be passed by both chambers of the legislature, it would require the federal government to grant the waiver.

Those who are eligible include, but are not limited to, individuals who work twenty hours per week or who are students who attend school full-time.

A total of ninety percent of the costs associated with expanding would be covered by the federal government, while ten percent would be covered by the state.

A recent economic study conducted by the Hilltop Institute found that in addition to getting greater tax revenues to fully cover the cost of expansion for the first two years, the state would also be eligible for additional federal funds, such as money from the American Rescue Plan Act.

McGee also mentioned that the plan contains a repeal date of 2029, which will serve as a reverse option in the event that lawmakers conclude by that time that the program is either not feasible or too expensive for the state to operate within its parameters.

Georgia’s Medicaid Extension Faces Federal Hurdles

JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI – NOVEMBER 07: Derra Dukes, 74, waits to provide directions to voters at the Timberlawn Elementary School on November 07, 2023 in Jackson, Mississippi. “One of the biggest issues here is the closure of hospitals and the Medicaid expansion.


Even in the event that the measure is passed, it is highly improbable that the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services will grant it clearance at the federal level.

A previous attempt was made by Georgia to extend Medicaid while imposing a work requirement.

This request was granted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) during the administration of Donald Trump, but it was rejected after Joseph Biden took office in 2021.

Despite the fact that Georgia was successful in its lawsuit against the federal government to have its program revived, the state is now filing another lawsuit to have the program extended until 2028.

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