Wednesday, June 26, 2013 1:00 AM
The Mississippi Legislature should have settled Medicaid before ending the regular three-month session in April.
Now, Gov. Phil Bryant has called a special session for Thursday that will cost taxpayers $30,000 per day.
ObamaCare was settled by the November election. And it's the law of the land over our stern objection because it's an intrusion on the states and individuals.
Elections have consequences. This overreaching, bad law is in effect - until Congress acts - and Republicans should deal with it.
Under ObamaCare, the state could add another 300,000 to Medicaid by taking a big handout from the federal government over the next four years.
No one can begin to understand the complexities of the Affordable Healthcare Act with its 20,000 pages of regulations, much less the Medicaid expansion and the full consequences.
A mistake now on Medicaid could be costly, however.
What we know is that about 700,000 Mississippians are on the Medicaid rolls and the program represents about 16 percent of the state's hospital revenue.
Without an agreement, Medicaid could cease altogether on July 1, endangering hundreds of thousands and potentially hurting hospitals like Neshoba General.
Expand Medicaid and even some Democrats agree it could bankrupt the state in four years when the federal handouts dry up.
The state has another year to decide on Medicaid expansion, so reauthorization and a debate are in order.
The Republican leadership blames Democrats for the stalemate and the Dems blame Republicans.
GOP leaders suggested early on that if enough states opt out, ObamaCare will collapse.
Democrats have voted against simple reauthorization, which Republicans have supported.
Gov. Bryant's call deals specifically with reauthorization, not expansion.
Unfortunately, we're not certain either of the parties can be trusted fully to do anything other than protect and defend their own political hides.
The new Republican leadership has been known to rub its victories in the faces of any who dare to differ or go off script.
So it's understandable why the Democrats may not trust them. But there's little reason to trust the tax-and-spend Democrats either.
Populist leaders who choose the politically expedient thing over the right thing don't lend credibility to either party.
We don't know what the real likelihood of a compromise is in this game of chicken, but Medicaid must be reauthorized and it's up to the Republicans to lead.