Issues: Health Care Reform
Mississippi is a state that has had a long, sad history with health outcomes. The confluence of historical racial and economic baggage, indifferent and sometimes hostile leadership, and long-standing, suffocating poverty has created a seemingly untenable environment for change. At this writing, Mississippi has 17.9% of its citizens uninsured, 40% in poverty according to the federal poverty level guidelines, and 22.1% of its citizens on Medicaid. These are the results of years of neglect on the issue of health care coverage.
The Affordable Act
The landmark Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act (PPACA) that was signed into law in March 2010 presented a once in a decade opportunity for Mississippi to envision health care delivery in way that is tailored our specific needs. The bill is a comprehensive effort that strives to open up and protect current access to both public health care programs and the private insurance market. It aims to cover 32 million more Americans, while ensuring protections for the millions that are currently insured. As health care advocates, our goal is to work diligently to engage the public and policymakers in making sure that the vision and promise of health care reform for thousands of Mississippians is realized. It is our hope that our website dedicated to health care reform, msroadtoreform.org, will be a trusted source for providing accurate, timely, and easily understood information about what health care reform really means for you and your family.
Mississippi consumer health advocates, providers, and other stakeholders have recently recognized the immediate need to collaborate to educate and enroll Mississippians in the new health insurance Marketplace. Beginning Oct. 1, Mississippi has an historic opportunity to offer affordable health coverage to more than 275,000 Mississippians through the Mississippi Health Insurance Marketplace. Representatives of these organizations understand and agree on the need for a statewide campaign to educate Mississippians about their new health insurance options. As a result, this coalition will coordinate resources under the brand “Cover Mississippi” in an effort to reduce the number of uninsured in Mississippi.
Visit our website, coverms.org, to learn more about our work on health care reform.
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