JACKSON -- House Democrats have argued that if the Republican leadership would allow that chamber to vote on Medicaid expansion that there would be Republicans voting for it.
There has been no Republican member of the House to publicly voice support for expanding Medicaid to cover those earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level or about $15,000 per year for an individual, which is allowed under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
But over in the Senate, according to published reports, Billy Hudson, R-Hattiesburg, has become the first Republican legislator to endorse expansion, which is opposed by the Republican legislative leadership and Gov. Phil Bryant.
Hudson, a successful retailer with the reputation of an indepdent streak, said he supports the expansion because without it the state's hospitals would be negatively impacted.
The Legislature is expected to come back in special session in June to take up re-authorizing and funding the Division of Medicaid. Medicaid expansion is expected to be an issue during the special session.