LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Gene Barton

BUTTON-Letters-To-Editor_stockDear Editor,

There are many public uses in the media at this time. However, the failure of our Republican governor to take care of the needs of the needy and his staunch opposition to anything that President Obama stands for is leading us toward a crisis with respect to the funding of Medicaid.

Governor Phil Bryant has from the very beginning opposed the Affordable Care effort in all aspects and has even opposed accepting the additional funding for Medicaid, which would cover additional individuals earning up to 138% of the federal poverty level.

His opposition and his lack of commitment for medical care for the people of the state of Mississippi is leading our state to a crisis.

According to press reports, the 2013 legislative session came to an end last week. The Division of Medicaid for the new fiscal year begins July 1, 2013. The legislature did not reauthorize or re-fund Medicaid. There is no funding for Medicaid. There is no funding for Medicaid. Because of the Governor’s staunch opposition to the Affordable Care Act, which has many valuable provisions, many individuals will not be eligible for the additional individuals entitled to be placed under Medicaid, which is 138% of the federal poverty level. In fact, unless a special session is called by the Governor and the issue is resolved, Medicaid will cease to exist in the state.

I, as the Chairman of the Chickasaw County Democratic Executive Committee, sometimes fail to understand why our people of our state fail to look at the real issues and vote against their best interest. I wonder how many people in North Mississippi have a relative in a nursing home and Medicaid or someone who is not covered by insurance and would be covered under the Affordable Care Act if the additional funds were received. Furthermore with the additional funds coming in and Medicaid operating, many jobs in the healthcare field are creating employment.

Failure to act by the Republican legislature and the Republican governor is leading us to a “doomsday” and a “doomsday clock” is ticking with respect to the issue of Medicaid in our state.

Healthcare for the poor and working poor, which would include many working in fast food restaurants and other jobs which do not provide insurance and the pay is not a whole lot, would be covered. As it stands now, the prospects are there will be no Medicaid and I wonder what the nursing homes and the hospitals are going to do when there is not Medicaid to cover the elderly and the poor.

It is unfortunate that our Republican governor is so opposed to the Affordable Care Act, which provides medical coverage for many that do not have it, that he is willing to risk the entire Division of Medicaid over this issue and is in fact allowing this “doomsday clock” to tick with respect to the issue of Medicaid.

Attorney Gene Barton
Okolona, Miss.

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