Governor Tate Reeves Sees Setback in Efforts Against Medicaid Expansion

Gov. Reeves (Credits: Mississippi Today)

This editorial, the anchor for Mississippi Today’s weekly legislative newsletter, provided insights into a crucial political moment. Ahead of a Senate committee vote on a Medicaid expansion bill, Governor Tate Reeves convened around 20 Republican senators at the Governor’s Mansion for an open discussion.

During the March 26 gathering, the second-term Republican governor, known for his staunch opposition to expansion, urged the senators to reject the bill.

Tate Reeves (Credits: Mississippi Today)

He reiterated his long-standing stance that he would veto any legislation aimed at Medicaid expansion. Specifically, Reeves voiced concerns about the exceptions to the work requirement outlined in the Senate bill. He emphasized his belief that any expansion plan should mandate that Medicaid recipients be employed.

Despite Reeves’ private counsel, the Senate committee approved the original bill the following day, maintaining the work requirement exceptions. On March 28, when the bill reached the Senate floor for a vote, one of Reeves’ key Senate GOP allies, Sen. Joey Fillingane, introduced two amendments.

Governor Reeves (Credits: Mississippi Free Press)

These amendments sought to impose work requirements on struggling mothers and individuals with disabilities to qualify for Medicaid benefits. However, both amendments, viewed as proxies for Reeves’ position, were defeated, and the original bill garnered support from over two-thirds of the chamber.

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