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GOP seeks to only help a few in state

By Agnes Dalton

Guest Columnist 

In the news recently, we hear how unfair it is that flood insurance premiums will take a sharp increase.

These arguments are in Washington since flood insurance is a federally backed program.

The Affordable Care Act is also a federally backed program. Why then are Republicans so eager fighting for flood insurance providing coverage for a few and then fight to repeal Affordable Care providing coverage for everyone?

In Mississippi, the hypocrisy continues. The governor has been vocal in his objection of ACA, but offers very little to help the majority of those he serves.

He has suggested establishing free clinics but his budget does not provide funding. When the hospitals (his political contributors) complained they would lose part of their federal funding by his failure to expand Medicaid, he budgeted millions of taxpayer’s money to supplement their loss. We call that corporate welfare.

Remember, Medicaid costs us nothing for the first three years, and then gradually increases a few percentage points each year up to 10 percent from 2020 forward. That 10 percent is only on new Medicaid enrollees after expansion.

If he accepts Medicaid expansion, the hospitals wouldn’t need a supplement and those same millions could go to the “Rainy Day” fund to help us meet our 10 percent future obligation. It could also go to education and teacher pay rises.

The author John Grisham expressed it best, “Mississippians, who are so dependent on Federal assistance of some kind, consistently vote against their own interest.”

In Pearl River County, over 40 percent of our citizens depend on Federal assistance to survive, yet our Republican representatives turn their backs on their need by refusing to revisit this issue.

If you or someone you know is struggling over health issues, let our Legislators know we need their help. Remember, they will need our help next year when they run for re-election.

Contact our Legislators: Rep. Mark Formby, 601-359-3359 (Jackson) mformby@house.ms.gov; Rep. Herb Frierson, 601-359-3340 (Jackson) hfrierson@house.ms.gov; Rep. Timmy Ladner, 601-359-2438 (Jackson), tladner@house.ms.gov, Sen. Angela Hill, 601-359-2886 (Jackson), ahill@senate.ms.gov, Sen. Tony Smith, 601-359-2586 (Jackson), tsmith@senate.ms.gov

Agnes is the Pearl River County Democratic chair.