Medicaid Expansion: Mississippi’s Road to Job Creation

Medicaid Works

Medicaid expansion is an opportunity for Mississippi to move beyond politics and invest in our construction workers, truck drivers, commercial fisherman, and thousands of other working Mississippians while creating thousands of new jobs.

In a tremendous victory for Mississippi families, on June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, the court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion created uncertainty about whether many working families in Mississippi would be able to gain access to health coverage as originally intended by the law.

Under the original guidelines of the Affordable Care Act, the federal government would have allowed every U.S. citizen and legal resident younger than 65 to qualify for Medicaid if they had an annual income up to 133% of the Federal Poverty Level (about $15,000 for an individual and $30,000 for a family of four). In Mississippi, this would give nearly 300,000 more Mississippians access to the health coverage they need. Instead, the Supreme Court ruled that states must be given the option of whether or not they would like to expand their Medicaid programs, essentially putting the health and well-being of Mississippi’s working families in the hands of state lawmakers. Unfortunately, many state lawmakers, including Governor Bryant, have already indicated that they will not be willing to expand Medicaid and help Mississippi’s working families.

For a more detailed explanation of the Supreme Court ruling on Medicaid, please check out the following resources:

Center’s for American Progress – Why the Supreme Court Ruling Creates Uncertainty for Millions

Families USA – The Supreme Court Decision: What it means for Medicaid

United States Government Accountability Office- Medicaid Expansion: States' Implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Why should Mississippi expand Medicaid?

Despite the common misconception, most of the uninsured in Mississippi have jobs. There are over 300,000 working Mississippians who are either not offered insurance by their employer or not able to afford the costs.

In 2014, as part of the Affordable Care Act, Mississippi will be able to expand its Medicaid program to provide security to many of these hard working families. This expansion of Medicaid would come at little to no costs for the state. And the billions of dollars invested in Mississippi under the Affordable Care Act will not only provide health insurance to thousands but also boost Mississippi's economy.

Expanding Medicaid is also a smart investment for Mississippi that will create a demand for thousands of new jobs, a healthier more productive workforce, and a stronger state economy.

For years, Mississippi's Medicaid program has been successful in providing the life-saving access to care for seniors living in nursing homes, children, and people with disabilities. By expanding Medicaid in 2014, Mississippi will be able to build on these successes and make coverage available for working adults while at the same time creating new jobs in the state.

Please check out the resources below learn more about how expanding Medicaid will keep working families secure while growing Mississippi’s economy.

Healthy Community/Healthy Economy - Why Medicaid expansion is a good investment for Mississippi

Mississippi Health Advocacy Program - Medicaid Expansion: Mississippi's Road to Job Creation

Center for Mississippi Health Policy - Medicaid Expansion: An Overview of the Potential Impacts in Mississippi

Rachel Garfield, Associate Director of Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and Uninsured, Presentation Slides from January 24, 2013 Legislative Breakfast