News

Gov. Reeves, other governors ask Biden to end COVID-19 health emergency

Gov. Tate Reeves has joined with 24 other states to ask President Joe Biden to end the Federal Public Health Emergency for COVID-19, which would allow the state to remove some people from Medicaid coverage.  First declared in January 2020 under the Trump Administration, the public health emergency gives health care providers flexibility in how they operate. This public health emergency has been extended repeatedly since — it was last extended again in October and set to end in January 2023, though the department has not indicated it will not renew. The department has said it will give governors at least 60 days notice before a declaration ends.

Report: Mississippi left $47M in aid to poor families unspent

The State of Mississippi is leaving millions of dollars on the table that could directly benefit families in deep poverty, witnesses emphasized repeatedly during a public hearing Thursday before the Mississippi House and Senate Democratic caucuses. LaDonna Pavetti, senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, noted that the accumulated unspent Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF) funds could be used to assist low-income families with children in any given year. “The important takeaway here is that Mississippi has TANF funds available to provide extra cash,” Pavetti said. “The last report, which was for 2020, (showed) that Mississippi had $47 million in unspent TANF funds. Those are funds that are just sitting (where) Mississippi can draw on them any time it wants … and in 2020, Mississippi left $31 million unspent. It’s just sitting there.”

SuperTalk radio was a powerful mouthpiece for welfare fraudsters — while raking in welfare funds itself

The state of Mississippi was entering a new day in the fight against poverty.  At least that’s what conservative talk radio station SuperTalk would have you believe. It was the summer of 2018, and radio host Paul Gallo was visiting with John Davis, then-director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, and nonprofit founder Nancy New on site during a government summit at the Westin luxury hotel in downtown Jackson.

Senate study group backs changes to support moms and families

Extending postpartum Medicaid, creating a foster care bill of rights and building a new website to help moms and families find resources are all among the policy priorities backed by the Senate Study Group on Women, Children and Families, Sen. Nicole Boyd, R-Oxford, told Mississippi Today. Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann tasked the group with reviewing the needs of Mississippi families and children from birth to age 3, following the Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that allowed the state’s near-total abortion ban to take effect. The ban will result in an estimated 5,000 additional births each year, a 14% increase in the state with the country’s highest rates of infant mortality and preterm births; a foster care system in which children are often abused and neglected; and the most restrictive Medicaid policies for new moms in the country.

University of Mississippi Medical Center Patients Covered Again After Deal With Blue Cross Blue Shield

Mississippi’s largest health insurance provider is finally covering patients in-network at the state’s largest medical complex again after the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi announced an agreement. Since last spring, thousands of non-emergency patients have not been able to get affordable care at UMMC due to an ongoing dispute with BCBS. “Effective December 15, 2022, all UMMC facilities, physicians and other individual Professional Providers are fully participating Network Providers for all Blue Cross commercial health plans, including the Federal Employee Plan and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans from other states,” says Friday’s joint statement. “Blue Cross and UMMC remain focused on their missions of serving Mississippians’ health care needs.”

© 2016 Mississippi Health Advocacy Program