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Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican, is in a standoff with the legislature in Jackson, where Democrats blocked efforts to appropriate funds for the state’s Medicaid program — an attempt to gain leverage in the fight over expansion.

Mr. Bryant lambasted Democrats last month for “playing a political game with the lives of the 641,194 children, pregnant women, and aged, blind, and disabled adults currently receiving medical services through Medicaid.”

Since then, Mr. Bryant has suggested he will try to run the state’s Medicaid programs through is executive powers if the issue is not resolved within the legislature.

“He has repeatedly stated that when Democrats are ready to fund and reauthorize the current Medicaid program, he will call a special session so Mississippi can continue providing services to children, pregnant women and aged, blind and disabled adults,” Bryant spokesman Mick Bullock said Monday.