FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
GOVERNOR BARBOUR THANKS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES FOR REALLOCATING $35.5 MILLION SCHIP FUNDS TO MISSISSIPPI
(Jackson, Miss.) – After meeting with federal officials yesterday in Washington, Governor Haley Barbour today praised the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for announcing the redistribution of $35.5 million dollars in unspent State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) funds to Mississippi, avoiding a funding shortfall in 2005.
“This is good news for Mississippi,” said Governor Barbour. “Although we have long-term funding shortfalls projected, these federal dollars will prevent any loss or break in Mississippi’s SCHIP coverage through fiscal year 2005.”
Mississippi is one of five states that would have exhausted federal funding for their SCHIP program. The State had projected a federal shortfall of approximately $19.4 million to $22 million for fiscal year 2005. Now Mississippi’s needs are met and the State will most likely have remaining federal funds to carry forward.
“Mississippi is very fortunate to have the federal government step in and assist us,” said Governor Barbour. “Our children will have the health insurance they need in the short-term, and I will continue to work on the development of a long-term solution.”
The Bush Administration is taking into account the needs of those states with projected federal funding shortfalls first when making its decisions concerning redistribution efforts. Governor Barbour visited with Administration officials yesterday and will continue working with the Administration and Congress to develop a long-term plan.
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