"Miss. GOP Applauds Obama Medicaid Action" by Jackblog | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

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Miss. GOP Applauds Obama Medicaid Action

It's unclear whether North Korea has gone ahead with its plan to launch a nuke, but it does appear that the universe has imploded.

Today, the Obama Administration announced it would hold off on cutting a program that partially reimburses hospitals for caring for the poor -- and Mississippi's Republican Medicaid foes are welcoming the news.

These funds, known to health-care policy wonks as disproportionate-share hospital payments, were set to expire next year. Under a deal the White House struck with hospitals to get their support for Obamacare, hospitals agreed to accept DSH cuts in exchange for putting more people on state Medicaid rolls.

However, Republican governors in states that are most in need of improved health-care vowed to resist growing their Medicaid programs.

Governing magazine reports that Marilyn Tavenner, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said "postponing the reductions would allow states to complete their decision process about the Medicaid expansion."

Surprisingly, Mississippi Republicans are trumpeting the Obama Administration decision. The Legislature reached a stalemate on funding Medicaid as well as expanding the program during the legislative session that recently ended.

Gov. Phil Bryant, who is expected to convene a special session to deal with Medicaid, said he is "pleased" with Obama.

Said Bryant, through a news release: "I have long advocated that cuts to this program should not be used to affect budgets in states that choose not to expand Medicaid. This move should give us additional time to make a reasonable decision about any changes to the Medicaid program."

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