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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The Mississippi House on Monday failed for the second time to adopt the Medicaid budget, making a special session highly likely before the fiscal year starts July 1.

House Bill 1653 needed support from a majority of elected House members. Instead, Monday’s vote was 57 in favor and 50 against, a few votes shy of the 61 needed for the bill to pass.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Herb Frierson, a Republican from Poplarville, spoke in support of the bill, saying he doesn’t like to lose.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant released a statement after Sunday’s failed vote, saying Democrats were playing politics.

Democrats want to expand Medicaid as part of the health overhaul that President Barack Obama signed into law in 2010, but Bryant says the state can’t afford expansion.

 

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