As for my state of Mississippi, our governor, Phil Bryant, said the state could not afford the matching funds required to trigger the federal match for Medicaid expansion. We won’t do it even though in 2014, the federal government would pay over $50 for every one-dollar Mississippi chips in. You couldn’t get 50-to-1 if Itawamba Community College took on the Alabama Crimson Tide and spotted them two touchdowns.
Of course, Mississippi participates in federal matching programs for everything from preserving the post-Civil War home of Jefferson Davis to beaver control. In fact, the Mississippi Business Journal reported that, “somewhere between $2 and $3 flow to Mississippi from the federal government for every dollar sent north from the state.”
But Gov. Bryant feels the State of Mississippi is unable — or unwilling — to carve $8.5 million from the state’s almost $10 billion budget to get $427 million in federal matching Medicaid funds. That alone would create over 4,000 Mississippi jobs in the first year of the program.
It is clearly a political stand against what Gov. Perry calls “the Obamacare power grab.”
But what does this political stand mean long-term — aside from these 18 states having a tragically less healthy population than the neighboring states that do choose to add more people to Medicaid?