House rejects proposal to expand Medicaid

news_inthenews_greenBy Emily Wagster Pettus

Associated Press

JACKSON – The Mississippi House has voted against expanding Medicaid to more than 230,000 uninsured working poor residents.

Democratic Rep. Cecil Brown of Jackson pushed for expansion Thursday as the House considered House Bill 1481, an early version of the Medicaid budget.

Brown says expansion would help barbers, waitresses, store clerks and roofers who don’t have insurance. He points out that most lawmakers receive taxpayer-funded health insurance for their part-time jobs.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant and other opponents of Medicaid expansion say the state can’t afford to put more people on the government insurance program for the needy, even with the federal government paying most of the cost.

Expansion is allowed under the health overhaul law signed by President Barack Obama.

Brown’s proposal failed with 64 votes against and 52 for.