The state should provide insurance to workers


JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) – One of Mississippi’s top legislative leaders said on Tuesday the state should provide health insurance for workers, but strongly rejected a question about the extension of Medicaid.

Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said that instead of “talking about a nomenclature that dates back to three presidents”, lawmakers should consider how real people are affected by insecurity in the world. Poorest state in the country.

“What does that mean? What is the expansion of Medicaid? That’s a lazy question,” he told a reporter who asked him what he thought of the expansion of Medicaid – which 38 states did – at a press conference on the first day of legislative session. “What you need to think about is how we’re going to cover people who work in Mississippi who are suffering from catastrophic diseases This is the real question.

Hosemann said lawmakers were drafting a proposal that would bring health insurance to workers in Mississippi, but said it was too early to provide details on what format the plan would take. When asked if a proposal could be made this session, Hosemann said it would be made “as soon as we can”.

Medicaid is a health insurance program for the needy, the elderly, the blind and the disabled. It is paid for by federal and state money. Mississippi has about 3 million people, and Medicaid already covers more than 763,500 people, or about 25% of the population.

But Mississippi is one of 12 states – all of which have GOP-controlled legislatures – that have not approved extending Medicaid coverage to the working poor, which is an option under the GOP Act. affordable care that was enacted in 2010 by then-President Barack. Obama.

In a separate press conference on Tuesday, House Speaker Philip Gunn said he did not support the expansion of Medicaid and that it was not a realistic plan in Mississippi.

“I don’t see this as a way forward in Mississippi,” he said. “We have to look for ways to take people off Medicaid, not put them on Medicaid. “

Republican Gov. Tate Reeves and his Republican predecessor, Phil Bryant, said they believed Mississippi couldn’t afford to put more people on the program, even though the federal government paid most of the bill.

Hosemann said he often hears stories from Mississippi residents who have been affected by a lack of coverage. On Tuesday, he spoke about a woman from Greenwood who worked at Dollar General and did not go to the doctor because she did not have health insurance. She later found out that she had cancer and died, leaving behind a husband and children.

“It’s happening in Mississippi for the workers,” he said.

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