By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press
JACKSON — Top Republicans say Mississippi can’t afford to expand its Medicaid program to cover more people under the federal health care overhaul.
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld most of the law Thursday. But, it said the federal government can’t withhold Medicaid money from states that choose not to expand Medicaid coverage to more low-income adults.
Gov. Phil Bryant says Mississippi would have to make deep cuts to education and transportation to cover expenses for an estimated 400,000 new people on Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the needy.
Mississippi is one of the poorest states in the nation and already has 641,454 people on Medicaid — about 22 percent of its 3 million residents.
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves says adding 400,000 people would cost about $1.7 billion over 10 years.