December 21, 2005
Contact: Pete Smith 601-576-2009 or 601-720-8733

Statement of Governor Haley Barbour Concerning the passage of the budget reconciliation bill

The budget reconciliation bill passed by the Senate today contains health care and Medicaid premiums that will be extremely important to our state’s recovery. An estimated $700 million will be made available to cover the cost of uncompensated care that Mississippi health care organizations provided to people without insurance, Medicare or Medicaid coverage in the wake of Katrina.

A significant part of the balance of the funds will be used to pay the state’s federal Medicaid match, freeing up potentially hundreds of millions of state General Fund dollars for our recovery, rebuilding and renewal efforts.

The Senate’s passage of this bill is the second demonstration in less than a week of why Mississippi needs Trent Lott in the United States Senate. He played the lead role not only in passing this budget bill but also was the key figure in last week’s passage of the tax bill that will create billions in investment and tens of thousands of jobs in the Gulf region.

Congressman Chip Pickering led the House effort to shape the emergency health care and Medicaid package contained in the bill. I thank Congressman Pickering and Senator Lott and congratulate them and the House and Senate leadership.

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Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139 Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601.359.3150 Fax: 601.359.3741
         

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