Barbour: States Need Flexibility on Health Care

By Staff | April 12, 2011 | 5:09 PM EDT

Washington (AP) - Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who is considering a White House bid, says states need more flexibility to develop health care programs for the poor.

Barbour predicts costs would skyrocket under health care reforms pushed by the Obama administration and the changes would increase the number of people receiving Medicaid in his home state. Barbour spoke Tuesday at a health care event organized by a Republican congressman.

Barbour says Mississippi has held down Medicaid costs by requiring face-to-face meetings to determine eligibility for most recipients and promoting the use of generic drugs. But he says many states struggle to receive permission from the federal government to make changes to their programs.

Barbour is expected to announce within weeks whether he will seek the GOP presidential nomination.