New Medicaid bill would shift power from governor to 7-member commission

Mississippi State Capitol
Mississippi State Capitol(WLBT)
Updated: Jan. 22, 2021 at 12:06 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A Mississippi lawmaker wants to restructure the state’s Medicaid division in a way that would alter the authority over the billion-dollar pot of federal funds in the Magnolia State.

Rep. John Lamar (R-MS) introduced HB1013 to the Mississippi legislature this week.

Right now, the Division of Medicaid is in the Office of Governor Tate Reeves, but HB1013 ends that setup and shifts the power to a commission with an executive director.

Lamar’s bill says, “the commission shall consist of seven members, with three members appointed by the Governor and four members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor. The Speaker of the House would have the ability to nominate two of the Lt. Governor’s appointees. All initial and later appointments to the commission shall be with the advice and consent of the Senate.”

Lamar says the bill requires that all members have, ‘some knowledge or practical experience,’ in how to administer the state’s Medicaid program.

Lamar, also chair of the Ways and Means Committee, says the commission must hold regular monthly meetings to handle any state business.

The Committee of Ways and Means is the chief tax-writing committee of the House of Representatives.

WLBT will keep an eye on this bill and let you know if it makes any progress.

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