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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Democrats in the Mississippi Legislature are proposing a way to provide health coverage to about 300,000 people without expanding Medicaid.

They say Wednesday that the state could use federal money to help low-income people buy private health insurance.

But, a spokesman for Republican Gov. Phil Bryant says Democrats’ proposal is nothing but a repackaging of Medicaid expansion.

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves also opposes Democrats’ plan.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, another Republican, says he’s willing to work with other officials.

Democrats say their proposal, similar to one in Arkansas, could help end the stalemate over Medicaid.

Because of partisan disputes over expanding Medicaid, legislators ended their 2013 session without approving the program’s budget or even authorizing it to stay in business beyond the current budget year, which ends June 30.



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