A number of states, including Mississippi, are considering opting out of the federal Medicaid program. Link This would no doubt solve the annual budget crisis that plagues Mississippi over Medicaid shortfalls each year, but at a heavy cost. Almost every nursing home resident is a Medicaid recipient, and those that are not soon will be as soon as their personal funds are exhausted. Where will these people go if Mississippi opts out of Medicaid? What about the hundreds of thousands of Medicaid enrolees in our state that rely on Medicaid to provide their health care. Without this safety net, these individuals will be without care at all, or will continue getting care in emergency rooms who will have no means of collecting, putting the cost on the backs of private payers. I suspect that this is a bluff to draw attention to the unfunded mandate that expanding the Medicaid roles is placing on states. It will be interesting if our governor follows through with such proposals how well it plays for him in Iowa and New Hampshire as the 2012 race approaches.