• 64°

Healthcare should not be a political debate

It’s astounding Mississippi, which is home to some of the unhealthiest people in the country, has not taken advantage of financial offerings from the federal government to provide health care through Medicaid expansion to our working poor.

Mississippi has more than 170,000 people who go to work every day but cannot afford health insurance.

The federal government, through the Affordable Care Act, has offered states the ability to expand Medicaid to cover workers who cannot afford insurance by paying 90 percent of the cost of that care.

But Mississippi, which is led by a Republican legislature, has said no to that offer because accepting it would offend the national Republican Party and wealthy conservative backers, who have unsuccessfully fought the Affordable Care Act for years.

President Joe Biden further sweetened the pot earlier this year and kicked up the offer of reimbursement for insuring the working poor to 95 percent. Still, Mississippi’s Republican leadership said no.

Meanwhile, the state’s poor get sicker and go without needed medical care and medication. And Mississippi’s small, rural hospitals remain at risk of financial collapse because they must treat the working poor, when they seek medical care, and often do so without getting paid for those services.

The state’s hospital association understands hospitals so desperately need Medicaid expansion, they have offered to kick in the remaining 5 percent of the cost, so the state would effectively pay nothing.

Enough is enough. It’s time our elected leaders made decisions based on what is best for Mississippians rather than what will keep them in good stead with party leaders.

It was heartening this week to hear Mississippi Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann say Mississippi should look at all ways to provide health care to the state’s working poor and not out of hand dismiss any option. He said the issue should not be politicized.

We agree.

We hope Hosemann leads the state’s legislature to make the common sense decision to accept Medicaid expansion. Doing so will save lives of Mississippians.

News

Man shot in Vidalia trailer park dies, CPSO investigating second shooting in Wildsville

News

Natchez officials expand tax incentives for property improvements

Business

City of Natchez signs lease with Viking USA, American Cruise Lines for new docks

News

Natchez selected to receive $492K from EPA to use at former Titan Tire

News

City receives $1.2 million for emergency bluff stabilization project

News

Update: Suspect in Tuesday morning shooting arrested

News

UPDATE: Missing juvenile found

News

Family searching for missing teen

Business

Natchez trucking company in need of CDL drivers

News

Mississippi to end federal unemployment supplement

News

Two children injured in dirt bike accident when struck by car

News

Victims identified in fatal crash Thursday in Vidalia

News

Katie’s Ladies model celebrates 102nd birthday

News

Dart: Natchez is second home to radio show producer, DJ

News

Trial delayed for Adams County murder suspect

News

One dead, 2 injured in two vehicle wreck in Vidalia

News

CPSB selects two finalists for next superintendent

Business

Atmos Energy replacing gas pipes for some Natchez residents

News

Schools to get $31 million for COVID-19

News

Man sentenced to 40 years Wednesday for killing step-daughter, injuring 3 other relatives

News

Officials working to bring commercial flights to Natchez-Adams Airport

News

Five candidates remaining for next CPSB Superintendent

Business

Furdge appointed to Natchez Convention Promotion Commission

COVID-19

Photo gallery: Clinic gives COVID-19 vaccines to inmates with mobile unit