A push to expand Medicaid coverage to more people has failed in the Mississippi Senate.

The effort to add people who work low-wage jobs that don’t provide health insurance was one of several amendments that died along party lines on the Senate floor Tuesday. The amendments were part of Senate Bill 2799 known as the Medicaid Technical Bill. Democrats voted for the expansion proposals, while Republicans voted against them.

The bill, which keeps Medicaid alive beyond June 30, passed without the amendments.

Republican Sen. Rita Potts Parks of Corinth said the amendments added by Democrat lawmakers were “reckless.”

“I’n very open, but these amendments were reckless and only allowed for the top 130 percent of poverty to receive Medicaid services,” she told the Daily Corinthian.

Democrats pushing the expansion said it would help doctor’s offices, nursing homes and other health care facilities in rural areas of the state.

Democratic Sen. Angela Turner Ford of West Point told The Associated Press that the expansion would go to help “those that can barely make ends meet.”

Opponents of expansion, including Republican Gov. Tate Reeves, have said they do not want to put more people on a government program.

Mississippi is one of 12 states that have not taken the option to expand eligibility for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the health care overhaul law signed by then-President Barack Obama in 2010.

Medicaid, a government health insurance program for the needy, aged, blind and disabled, is paid by state and federal tax dollars, with the federal government picking up a larger share of the tab for poorer states. The federal share for Mississippi is about 78 percent. With expansion under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government pays 90 percent of the cost for all states.

Staff Writer

Zack Steen was first hired in 1999 as a junior in high school to work in the Daily Corinthian design department. After several years away, he returned in 2014 as staff writer. He's married to the love of his life Brandy and they have 5 wonderful fur-kids.

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