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Residents Learning How Healthcare Law Affects Them

By Daniel Cherry | Published 18 Sep 2012 10:04pm | comments
As the Affordable Care Act continues to be implemented, Mississippians are learning how the law affects them and their families. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports...
 
At a forum last night in Jackson, the Mississippi NAACP and the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program discussed with residents how the Affordable Care Act will impact the future of their health care. Walter Reed of Jackson came for more information, and he's in favor of the law because it allows more residents access to care.
 
"Now this will give them the opportunity to get professional medical care. I think that's what this thing is all about and that's what we in the state of Mississippi should be for."
 
Supporters of the law say easier access to preventative care will save lives and money over the long term. Mississippi is among the worst for breast cancer and cervical cancer deaths. Dr. Carl Reddix, an OB/GYN says many of those deaths are avoidable if caught early.
 
"There's no way we can address disparities or the cost of care without addressing prevention and all the things necessary. So mammograms, PAP Smears. All these things are disproportionately affecting women, especially women of color."
 
It's estimated, if Mississippi leaders choose to expand Medicaid, as many as 400 thousand residents would then have access to care. But top Republicans say the state simply can't afford to pay for it. But Dr. Corey Wiggins with the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program thinks it's something leaders should consider.
 
"We tend to look at it from the standpoint of: It's not a cost. It's an investment. It's an investment in Mississippi families. Investing in working Mississippians who are every day, day in and day out going to work, but this provides them the opportunity to have economic security of health insurance."
 
State leaders say expanding medicaid would cost Mississippi more than one billion and a half dollars over a decade.

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