Contrary to what many Mississippians seem to believe, Medicaid is no “welfare queen” health care plan trumped up by the Obama Administration. Far from it.
It has a 44-year history in Mississippi, launched in 1969 under an unlikely advocate, then-Gov. John Bell Williams. Two years earlier as a congressman, Williams actually voted against creation of Medicaid under Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” program.
Williams was elected governor in 1967 as a Democrat, but ran as a bitter critic of national Democrats after they had stripped him of congressional seniority for openly supporting Republican Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential race. Mississippi went overwhelmingly for Goldwater because of his vote against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but LBJ won by a landslide nationally.