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Mississippi Is Medicaid Expansion Campaign’s Next Red State Target


Mississippi is the next Republican-leaning state to be targeted for Medicaid expansion by a group that has already put together a half dozen other successful ballot initiatives to broaden healthcare coverage for poor Americans. The Fairness Project, working with Medicaid expansion supporters in Mississippi, says more than 200,000 people would gain healthcare coverage and the state would save more than $800 million in just the first two years thanks to funding in the American Rescue Plan Act. Those involved Tuesday announced the “Yes on 76” campaign to put Medicaid expansion on the ballot next year in Mississippi. The effort includes support from the Mississippi NAACP, the Mississippi Hospital Association and the Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund, The Fairness Project said.“Every time voters have been asked whether they want to expand Medicaid by ballot initiative, they’ve said yes — even in the deepest of red states,” said Jonathan Schleifer, executive director of The Fairness Project. “Voters in Mississippi are ready to do the same, expanding health care for hundreds of thousands of Americans who have gone without during this pandemic.”Supporters of the initiative are working to get the question on the November 2022 general election ballot. And they hope to have enough signatures by early October of this year to do that, a Fairness Project spokesman said. The campaign in Mississippi is the latest momentum to expand Medicaid coverage for the poor under the Affordable Care Act. Last year, voters in Missouri and Oklahoma approved ballot initiatives to expand Medicaid, following the lead of successful ballot initiatives in 2018 in Nebraska, Idaho and Utah. Those states, like Maine in 2017, bypassed Republican governors and legislatures to expand Medicaid by public referendum. The expansion of Medicaid benefits under the ACA has come a long way since the U. S. Supreme Court in 2012 gave states a choice in the matter. There were initially only about 20 states that sided with President Barack Obama’s effort to expand the health insurance program for poor Americans. The 12 holdout states including Mississippi that have yet to expand Medicaid have already missed out on generous federal funding of the Medicaid expansion under the ACA. From 2014 through 2016, the ACA’s Medicaid expansion population was funded 100% with federal dollars. The federal government still picked up 90% or more of Medicaid expansion through 2020 and that was a better deal than before the ACA, when Medicaid programs were funded via a much less generous split between state and federal tax dollars. The U. S. Congress and the Biden administration earlier this year gave states a new incentive to expand Medicaid under the ACA as part of the the Covid-19 relief legislation known as The American Rescue Plan Act, which President Biden signed into law in March.

All data is taken from the source: http://forbes.com
Article Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2021/05/11/deep-red-mississippi-is-medicaid-expansion-campaigns-latest-target/

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