JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- Mississippi lawmakers can expect to be pulled in opposite directions this year on a big-dollar question of whether to expand Medicaid.
Gov. Phil Bryant and fellow Republicans who lead the House and Senate say the state can't afford to put millions more dollars into the federal-state health insurance program for the needy.
But health advocates say one of the poorest states in the nation can't afford to turn down billions of federal dollars that would come with expanding Medicaid under the new federal health care law. The law was signed by President Barack Obama in 2010.
The law gives states the option to expand Medicaid to people making 133 percent of the federal poverty level starting in January 2014, with the federal government paying all expansion costs between 2014 and 2017.