Bryant: Obama Budget Undercuts Medicaid Expansion

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Top Mississippi Republicans say their opposition to Medicaid expansion is getting a boost from an unlikely source — Democratic President Barack Obama.

Obama released his proposed federal budget Wednesday. It includes a one-year delay in reduction of “disproportionate share” Medicaid payments — money hospitals receive for treating uninsured patients.

Mississippi hospital administrators say reducing the payments would hurt their finances, and some use that as an argument to support Medicaid expansion. Putting more people on Medicaid would mean fewer uninsured patients.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant says Obama’s proposal gives Mississippi more time “to make a reasonable decision about any changes to the Medicaid program.”

There’s no guarantee Obama’s budget will be adopted. Many Republicans, including Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, of Mississippi, criticize the president’s overall spending plan.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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