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Legislation extending postpartum Medicaid benefits to 12 months passes Mississippi legislature

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Legislation that would extend postpartum Medicaid from 60 days to 12 months has passed both chambers of the Mississippi legislature.

After an 89-12 vote in the House of Representatives, SB 2212, authored by Senator Kevin Blackwell, R-Southaven, will now head to the desk of Governor Tate Reeves.

Over one week ago, Reeves vowed to sign the extension if the bill was passed by the legislature, arguing that in order for Mississippi to be a better place to raise kids, lawmakers have to be willing to make “philosophically uncomfortable” decisions.

The next day, House Speaker Philip Gunn announced that he will not block the legislature from voting on Senate Bill 2212 despite having a long history as an outspoken critic of increasing postpartum Medicaid benefits.

Gunn then called on the House Committee on House Medicaid to take up the bill, stating that his decision came after Medicaid Director Drew Snyder wrote a letter to him, explaining that more Medicaid-financed births are expected in a “post-Dobbs world.”

Despite Gunn’s previous threats to stand in the way of the bill if it did not include amendments that addressed postpartum abortions and verification that an individual is eligible to receive the benefits, the legislation was able to move through the House without any further alterations.

At this time, Mississippi is the only state that has not either extended postpartum benefits to 12 months or fully expanded Medicaid after the Wyoming legislature approved a bill extending postpartum benefits from 60 days to 12 months last week.

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