This week, the United States Senate delayed the vote on the healthcare plan that would repeal and replace Obamacare if passed. The support was not there for the bill, so the vote was put off until after the 4th of July holiday.
However, State Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney says the vote and any corresponding change may not happen then either.
“I don’t see the vote coming,” said “They don’t have the votes, so I don’t think there’s going to be any change coming until sometime in August, if there are going to be any changes.”
Chaney added that the problem is more specific than just eliminating the Affordable Care Act.
“Before you do that, you have to make sure of what you’re looking at,” said Chaney. “There are some states that have gained money, and some that have lost money.”
The money involved, Chaney said, is what has been gained or lost since the implementation of Medicaid expansion.
Mississippi did not expand Medicaid.
“The expansion of Medicaid under the Obama administration will always be an issue because of what it costs,” said Chaney. “And somewhere down the line, Republicans and Democrats need to be mindful of that.”
Medicaid cuts are expected with the new legislation.
“And that’s the controversy. It’s not the health insurance side, it’s the Medicaid portion,” said Chaney.
Chaney said that while Mississippi not expanding Medicaid may actually help if the new legislation passes, that may not always be the case.
“The kicker is three years down the road, the government may say we need to pick up another 15% of what the federal government normally matches,” said Chaney. “You do the math and that’s $190 million dollars that the state would have to kick in.”
Chaney said that a change could still happen.
“I think it will happen if you can get five of the senators that opposed to it to flip, it could work,” said Chaney. “But it would have to be more lenient on the Medicaid cuts.”