Democrats may not have the votes to expand Medicaid to cover 330,000 more people. Republicans don't have the votes to pass Medicaid without at least talking about expansion first.
That has been painfully evident every time Medicaid has come up for a vote on the House floor.
Today, for the second time this week, the House failed to pass the Medicaid budget. Democrats want to force House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, to allow debate and up-down vote on Medicaid expansion. Despite House Republicans' repeated efforts to block expansion, several GOPers delivered passionate defenses of Medicaid today. Earlier in the session, the House also voted down its own Medicaid reauthorization plan while the House Republican leadership spiked a Senate version that would have allowed Medicaid debate to commence.
After members killed the Medicaid bill this past weekend, House Appropriations Chairman Herb Frierson, of Poplarville, implored his colleagues to approve the Medicaid budget today saying he doesn't "like to lose." Medicaid Committee Chairman Bobby Howell, R-Kilmichael, told members before the voted they would risk the lives more that 700,000 sick and elderly Mississippians if they voted the bill down.
House Minority Bobby Moak, D-Bogue Chitto, put out a statement a few minutes ago saying: “The decision by House Republican leadership and the Governor to not allow a full debate, much less a vote, on Medicaid expansion, could cost the taxpayers $30,000 per day if a special session is called.
"On the other hand, if the Governor does not call a special session, 700,000 people who depend on the program will be in jeopardy along with the 300,000 Mississippians that would be eligible under the expansion program.”