CL – Health care would benefit Mississippi, even though Barbour says we can’t afford it

There is probably no single topic has been discussed longer and more often in Mississippi than the proposed federal health care reforms.

Gov. Haley Barbour maintains that Mississippi can’t afford the proposed Medicaid expansion contained in the U.S. Senate health care reform package.

In December, Barbour said: “Such unfunded mandates would necessarily cause states to raise taxes or cut vital services like education and law enforcement – more than we already have. Mandating a one-size-fits-all solution for states and expanding a broken Medicaid system – without reform – is poor policy.”

Barbour maintains that the Senate proposal would cause Mississippi “to have to find some $200 million a year to support the expansion of Medicaid.”

The American health care system needs reform. There are more than 46 million Americans without health care insurance, mostly the working poor. It is too costly and continues to escalate. Any health care reform must cover the uninsured and control rising health care costs.

Unlike Barbour, Cobb’s position is that federal health care reform will benefit Mississippi in greater proportion than most other states in terms of health care coverage, which is a compelling argument.

Clarion-Ledger
3/14/10