About one out of every four Mississippi residents is on Medicaid. Yet there's a political tussle in Jackson that threatens the basic healthcare needs for those people. The tussle pits Governor Barbour and the Republicans versus House Speaker McCoy and the Democrats. While they bicker, 20 to 25% of Mississippi's population sits on pins and needles. Medicaid needs $90 million to continue health coverage for low income families.
Yet none of our elected leaders can agree on a plan to generate that money. Republicans are pushing for a restructured hospital tax plan. Democrats are backing cigarette and liquor taxes. We are not sure which proposal is the best for our state. But lawmakers better come up with a compromise to recoup the Medicaid shortfall. And they better do it soon. When politics gets in the way of a poor child getting a prescription filled, or a disabled adult receiving life saving treatments, the system is broken.
The speaker met with the governor and the lieutenant governor on Thursday. And nothing was agreed upon. The speaker then threatened to adjourn the June 26th special session without taking up the Medicaid dilemma. That seems like a huge mistake.
Get together again and negotiate a Medicaid settlement. Because if you don't come up with a solution, you'll prove that politics is more important than the lives of hundreds of thousands of our Mississippi neighbors.
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