Interfaith leaders hand-delivered letters to Mississippi legislators Wednesday urging them to look again at supporting the expansion of health care access to 300,000 Mississippians.
The Mississippi legislature balked at Medicaid expansion this year in a state ranking last for health care performance, with 13% of its residents lacking health insurance.
Working Together Mississippi — an organization building a constituency for increasing health care access through Medicaid with Affordable Care Act funding — is looking to reverse those trends.
The organization is backing an option to expand health care access for Mississippians where 90% of funding would come from the federal government, and the remaining 10% required match would be funded by a self-tax paid by hospitals. They want the support for this plan from the state legislature.
"When you look at what happened when Medicaid was not expanded, the amount of hurt and pain, suffering, that occurred across Mississippi is not just a health issue that's a moral issue,"Bishop Ronnie Crudup, of New Horizon Church International, said Wednesday, standing in the Capitol rotunda.
[Photo Credit: Mississippi Clarion-Ledger]
Mississippi Faith Leaders Deliver Letter to Legislators Urging Greater Health Care Access, Mississippi Clarion-Ledger [pdf]
Clergy to Deliver Letter to Governor and Legislature Urging Medicaid Expansion, Mississippi Public Broadcasting [pdf]
Leaders representing over 100 institutions from across Mississippi gathered with leaders of Working Together Jackson to launch a strategy to bring healthcare reform to Mississippi. In coordination with the Mississippi Hospital Association, Mississippi IAF is mobilzling to encourage lawmakers to pass the Mississippi Cares Plan, which would expand healthcare access to the working poor of Mississippi at no cost to the state. Because of the suspension of the state legislature due to COVID 19, leaders need to get the proposal on the legislative calendar before the end of July.
While Mississippi is one of 13 states to not have enacted Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, it is the one with the least healthy population and routinely shows up at the bottom of national lists tracking obesity, diabetes, and lack of access to health care.
On a dark Wednesday evening, 500 leaders from Nevadans for the Common Good lit up the gym at West Prep Academy and assembled to secure commitments from federal, gubernatorial, and state candidates at a nonpartisan accountability assembly at West Prep Academy.
With pressure from leaders, candidates committed to work with NCG to increase affordable housing units, invest in public education, increase funding for FQHCs, protect Medicaid expansion, shine a light upon delays in the citizenship process, and create a database to protect consumers from predatory payday lending.
During the forum, leaders shared their personal experiences including on healthcare. NCG leader Taj Ainlay testified that qualifying for Medicaid enabled him to see a doctor “for the first time in seven years.” Agatha Ramirez shared that it took her five months to become a US citizen and that it had taken her brother-in-law nineteen months and counting.
Among the candidates who attended were gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak (D), senatorial candidate Jacky Rosen (D), congressional candidates Steven Horsford (D), Susie Lee (D), Danny Tarkanian (R), and Representative Dina Titus (D).
Candidates Asked Views on Pressing Issues at Las Vegas Forum, Las Vegas Review-Journal [pdf]
In front of 400 leaders assembled at Mt. Zion First Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, Together Louisiana leader Rev. Theron Jackson of Shreveport laid out the source of the state's budget shortfall (corporate exemptions and lower income taxes on the wealthy), referred to the reliance on sales taxes as "the big swap" and bluntly stated, "This calls for righteous indignation."Read more
After announcing that Medicaid expansion would save the state $100 million, the governor requested that Together Louisiana leaders assist him with long-term fiscal reform. Leaders expressed concern about short-term expansions of regressive sales taxes and called on the governor to help address water quality in St. Joseph and a statewide problem of food deserts. See full report below for more.Read more
This expansion came two months after what many called "an intervention" in the gubernatorial runoff election, which had devolved into a brawl of personal attacks. At the only event in which both candidates appeared jointly, more than four hundred Together Louisiana leaders assembled from 38 cities to put family issues like healthcare, wages, higher education and transportation back at the center of the campaign.Read more
Key legislative allies in attendance vowed to to protect Medicaid expansion that was won in 2013, re-connect public school funding to inflation and advance new legislation for Respite Care, all part of VIP's 2015 Human Development agenda.
NCLI Gets 3 Congressional (R & D) Candidates to Agree on Medicaid Expansion, Payday Lending and Workforce Development
- Expand Medicaid in Louisiana;Read more
Those that participated in the assembly include: Rep. John Kavanaugh (District 23), Jeff Schwartz and Paula Pennypacker; Effie Carlson, Jay Lawrence, and Bob Littefield; and Michelle Ugenti. District 28 candidates included Senator Adam Driggs and Kelli Butler; and House candidates Rep. Eric Meyer, Rep. Kaye Brophy-McGee and Mary Hamway.Read more