FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 28, 2005

HOUSE COMMITTEE APPROVAL OF MISSISSIPPI MEDICAID REIMBURSEMENT A GIANT STEP, BARBOUR SAYS
Measure would provide $850 million directly for the state

(Jackson, Miss.) - Gov. Haley Barbour said today that action by a U.S. House committee to reimburse 100 percent of Mississippi Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) costs over the next eight and a half months is a giant step toward helping victims of Hurricane Katrina recover.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee late Thursday night approved an amendment offered by U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Miss., the committee's vice chairman. The measure would provide a total of $2.5 billion in funding for Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama in the wake of Hurricane Katrina; about $850 million would go directly to Mississippi as a 100 percent federal reimbursement of costs in Medicaid and S-CHIP.

“I am pleased by the action of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to provide substantial emergency support for Mississippians who are among the most at risk in the wake of Hurricane Katrina,” Governor Barbour said. “This 100 percent reimbursement is a crucial element in Mississippi's comprehensive recovery package and represents a giant step for Medicaid recipients and the state as a whole.”

“I want to especially thank Chairman Joe Barton, R-Texas, for his willingness to move this bill forward and Congressman Pickering for his important amendment and steadfast support for hurricane victims. I also commend the committee for including in this bill a number of very positive reforms in the Medicaid system that were recommended on a bipartisan basis by the National Governors Association,” Governor Barbour said.

The bill is expected to be considered by the full House soon.

Barbour is in Washington again today, working with members of the Mississippi Congressional Delegation and others on various elements of a $38 billion package he believes essential to help Mississippi recover from the Aug. 29 hurricane that left thousands of people without homes or jobs.

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