Barbour, speaking after a National Governors Association healthcare meeting Sunday, said 3,500 people in his state signed up for a high-risk pool that predates his term as governor.
“We’re 1 percent of the population and we have a fourth of all the people they’ve signed up nationally for their program,” Barbour said.
Barbour and other Republican governors on Sunday urged the federal government to provide more leeway to cash-strapped states to run Medicaid programs. They are floating Medicaid block grants, rather than a federal matching system, as a preferred method.
“The idea that the federal government knows better is dispelled just by looking at the high-risk pool,” Barbour said.
The Department of Health and Human Services has defended the low enrollment figures in the high-risk pool, saying that federal healthcare programs are typically slow to gain momentum out of the gate.