The budget approval bill was passed over the weekend democrats in US Senate and now, pending a vote in the House of Representatives, does not provide assistance to poor Mississippians trying to get health insurance.
Approving the bill in general, Sharon Parrottpresident Washington, DC-based on Center for Budget and Policy Prioritiessaid, “However, the current bill does nothing to make affordable coverage available to the more than 2 million people with incomes below the poverty line who are uninsured because their states refused to expand Medicaid. Most people in the Medicaid coverage gap live in the South, and three out of five are people of color.”
An earlier version of the bill, considered last fall, provided for a mechanism for people living below the federal poverty level (about 13,550 USD annually) to obtain health insurance. This proposal was designed specifically to provide a health care option for the poor in 12 states, including mississippi, which did not expand Medicaid. But at the time, the Democratic leadership in the Senate was unable to muster the 50 votes needed to pass the so-called reconciliation bill. Democratic senators Joe Manchin with West Virginia and Christmas cinema with Arizona rejected the far-reaching 3.5 trillion dollars account for various reasons, not necessarily related to the provision of medical services.
Over the weekend, Sinema and Manchin stepped in to help pass a shortened, 669 billion dollars version of the reconciliation bill – called the Inflation Reduction Act – which included numerous clauses, including:
– Various tax incentives and other incentives for electric vehicles and other ecological energy technologies.
– Minimum tax of 15% for large corporations.
– Insulin restrictions for Medicare beneficiaries.
– A provision that allows Medicare to negotiate drug costs.
– Continuation of subsidies to help people buy private insurance on the health exchange.
The health care provision, which was in an earlier version of the bill but was removed from last week’s proposal, would have allowed people below the federal poverty level to get private health care paid for by the federal government through a health exchange.
Under current law, people who earn below the federal poverty level are not eligible for marketplace policies.
With this plan, two million Americans could get health care, and most of them Texas, Florida, Georgia and North Carolinaaccording to the analysis Judith Solomonhealth care policy analyst from Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Mainly Republican politicians in southern states oppose Medicaid expansion.
in mississippiStudies have shown that between 200,000 and 300,000 mostly working Mississippians could qualify for coverage if the state expands Medicaid.
If mississippi if Medicaid were expanded under current law, the federal government would pay 90% of health care costs and the state would pay the rest. Gov. Tate Reevesspeaker of the chamber Philip Gunn and others argued mississippi cannot afford the costs of Medicaid expansion, even though numerous studies have shown that the expansion, including an infusion of billions of dollars in federal funds, would actually increase state revenue collection.
Of course, what still dangles in front of states that don’t expand Medicaid is a significant incentive to expand Medicaid. The federal US rescue plan, enacted in early 2021 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, provides an additional incentive for states to expand Medicaid. Stimulus in mississippi expand Medicaid is more than 600 million dollars during a two-year period.
The Inflation Reduction Act is likely to be passed by the House of Representatives in the coming days and sent to the President Joe Bidenwho is expected to sign it into law.
— Author of the article Bobby Harrison Mississippi today