JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Medicaid expansion was thought to be considered by lawmakers this session.
It is something that caught many democratic and some republican lawmakers by surprise.
There have been several reports about Governor Phil Bryant moving behind the scenes on a possible Medicaid expansion but he denied it to WJTV’s Gerald Harris.
Governor Bryant has been a vocal opponent of “obamacare” says there is no chance of it happening.
“We will have to go back to the United States congress and senate and work through another plan that will be more effective that will be constitutional… that will provide for existing conditions and other healthcare needs without the unconstitutional mandate that are inherent in that act.”
Governor Bryant is currently suing for constitutionality of the affordable care act. A lower court federal judge in Texas has ruled it unconstitutional.
He is echoing the speaker of the house Philip Gunn, who says it is not likely Medicaid expansion will be considered… despite some republicans’ wanting to see action on healthcare.
Bryant says, “A federal judge in Texas rightfully so said that obamacare is unconstitutional we think that will make its way to the supreme court where the supreme court will say absolutely. “
Democrats believe there is an effort behind the scenes from Gov Bryant to move on Medicaid expansion.
House Minority Leader, David Baria says, “Well I wouldn’t expect him to publicly admit that he’s talking about doing this because he hasn’t done so already and I think he’s going to try to keep it under wraps as long as he can.”
Democrats stand ready to help and Gov Bryant should not play politics according to David Baria.
“You know this has always been a political stance for our Governor as oppose to what best for Mississippi.”
Other signs show republicans are coming to the table for Medicaid expansion is very conservative legislators like Robert Foster who is running for governor campaign on opening access to Medicaid.
Robert Foster says, ” We don’t get to choose as a state unfortunately what the federal government dictates as far as Medicaid is concerned but if it was up to me will have a completely different system we will have a more free market system so we don’t so we’re stuck in this situation where I feel like we need to make the best out of the situation for the people of Mississippi.”