MS pays high price for Bryant’s partisan politics

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 20, 2014


uppose a state university offers a high school student from a poor family $50,000 to attend college.  

The only caveat is that once he graduates and begins a career—three years after graduation— he gives $5,000 back from that initial sum for scholarships for other poor students. Now imagine that student saying “no” to the money, and “no” to college because: 1. He doesn’t trust the university, and 2. He doesn’t think he could afford to pay the $5,000 back from the initial $50,000 sum given to him. Sounds ridiculous?  This is exactly what Governor Bryant has done in refusing the Federal Medicaid expansion for our state.

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  A study done by WalletHub finds that Mississippi is the only state that has seen its uninsured population increase since the implementation of “Obamacare.” 

Prior to the first enrollment period on the health care exchanges, Mississippi’s uninsured rate was 18.11%. 

It has since climbed to 21.46%, the second highest uninsured rate in the nation. 

There are currently 310,000 people in Mississippi without health insurance.

 In his retort to the press, the Governor failed to mention that Mississippi would not even have to pay for the expansion for the first three years, and that the federal government will pay 90% of the expansion in subsequent years.  

Consider the fact that for every dollar Mississippi pays in taxes, it receives $3 in return from the federal government.   

According to the Mississippi Health Care Access, Medicaid expansion would provide coverage to most of the “working poor.” 

These are the families who prepare our food, build our houses, work in our restaurants and stores, care for our elderly and young children.  

They earn between $10,000 and $30,000 per year, and do not have enough to pay for adequate health care for their families, earning too much to qualify for the current Medicaid program, but not earning enough to be eligible for the health insurance exchange and purchase health coverage.

In refusing the expansion, the state is now failing to keep healthcare at the current level of services, cutting providers and jobs.  

Now, think of the alternative: the implementation of Medicaid expansion, which would create 9,000 jobs, connect 310,000 people to health insurance, and bring in $1 billion a year in new money to the state, from the industries and businesses healthcare products and providers would establish

We have an opportunity to provide health care coverage for over 300,000 Mississippians with 100% of the medical services costs covered by federal funding for the first three years, and only as much as ten cents on the dollar afterwards.  

Governor, we can afford it! 

Kentucky did.  So did Arkansas. So did West Virginia. 

 Their governors put their people before partisan politics. 

By: Debbie Craig