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Gov. Bryant Lays Out Plans at Neshoba Co. Fair

By Daniel Cherry | Published 02 Aug 2012 07:21pm | comments
Governor Phil Bryant is looking back on his accomplishments since taking office and he's also outlining his plans for the future. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports.
 
It's been just seven months since Governor Phil Bryant took office as Mississippi's Governor.
 
At the Neshoba County Fair yesterday morning, Bryant took the stage in front of hundreds of supporters to lay out his plans moving forward. He stressed the importance of job creation, lowering the teen pregnancy rate, and reforming Mississippi's education system. Bryant especially focused on his newest initiative, performance based pay for teachers.
 
"I like to keep things simple and here's the way it works: You find the best teachers and you pay them more. So that we can get every...every classroom needs the best qualified, best paid teacher we can provide them."
 
Governor Bryant also took some time to make a case as to why Mississippi shouldn't participate in the medicaid expansion portion of the Affordable Care Act. He says if enacted in the state, it would add 400 thousand residents to the medicaid rolls and would cost Mississippi about one and a half billion dollars over ten years. Bryant thinks it's too risky for the state to participate.
 
"Anyone that needs healthcare is going to get it. It might not be in the best terms available by going to the emergency room, but we cannot afford to add 1 out of 3 Mississippians to the Medicaid roll. It's impossible to come up with that money."
 
The state legislature will have a big say in what Mississippi's role will be with the Affordable Care Act. Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, a Republican, says it's too early for him to make a decision on what he will pursue in the House.
 
"Well I think it's too soon for me to make that guess. We're looking at that. We're evaluating all the ramifications of this ruling and then we're going to come forward with what we think is the best approach for the state of Mississippi on that."
 
Supporters of the Affordable Care Act say Mississippi can't afford to pass up the expansion. They point out, the federal government will pay 100% of the costs for the first three years...after that the federal government will pick up 90% of the bill.

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