Health Care Reform Advocates: ACA Will Greatly Impact MinoritiesBy Daniel Cherry | Published 28 Nov 2012 06:43pm |
Governor Bryant adamantly opposes Medicaid expansion
Supporters of the Affordable Care Act say the healthcare reform law will greatly impact minority communities, which are more likely to go without health insurance. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports the question is: to what degree will Mississippi leaders embrace health care reform?
About half a million Mississippians don't have health insurance. Supporters of the Affordable Care Act, like Ron Pollack, with Families USA, a healthcare reform advocacy group, hope state governments like Mississippi's, expand Medicaid. He spoke with reporters on a conference call yesterday.
"Now that the Affordable Care Act is moving forward, and it's a fact of life that it's moving forward, I think many of them are going to reconsider this. And given the incredible amount of federal dollars that are going to be available to states, I think it's going to be hard for a lot of these governors to leave that money on the table."
The federal government would cover 100 percent of the cost to expand Medicaid for the 1st two years, and cover 90 percent after that. Even so, Governor Bryant believes the program is just too costly.
"We've got to find a better way of healthcare delivery, and I'm all for the private sector involvement in that. But it is something states have a choice to make, and I will not, as Governor, oversee the expansion of Medicaid in the state of Mississippi when we cannot afford it."
It's estimated between 300 and 400 thousand low-income Mississippians would have access to health insurance if Medicaid is expanded. Gregory Evans of Clinton thinks, if Mississippi embraces the health care law, the state will be better off in the long run.
"As more people get covered you'll have a more healthy America. When we start concentrating on our health and start embracing our health, it will do what the President wants it to do."
It's estimated expanding Medicaid would cost Mississippi more than one and a half billion dollars over 7 years.
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