Federal bill strips poor Mississippians of health care

The budget adjustment bill, approved by Democrats in the U.S. Senate over the weekend and currently pending a vote in the House, will not help poor Mississippians trying to get health insurance.

Sharon Parrott, president of the Washington, DC-based Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, generally praised the bill, saying: They don’t have insurance because their states have refused to adopt Medicaid expansions.Most of the people in the Medicaid coverage gap live in the South, and 3 out of 5 of them are people of color. Seeds. ”

An earlier version of the bill, considered last fall, provided a mechanism for people living below the federal poverty level (about $13,550 a year) to obtain health insurance. The proposal specifically aims to provide health care options to the poor in her 12 states, including Mississippi, which has not expanded Medicaid. But at the time, the Democratic leadership in the Senate was unable to gather the 50 votes needed to pass a bill known as the Settlement Act. Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kirsten Cinema of Arizona have rejected his sweeping $3.5 trillion bill for a variety of reasons not necessarily related to providing healthcare.

Over the weekend, Cinema and Manchin joined to help pass a scaled-down $669 billion settlement bill called the Inflation Reduction Act.

  • Various tax credits and other incentives for electric vehicles and other green energy technologies.
  • Minimum tax rate of 15% for large corporations.
  • Insulin limits for Medicare recipients.
  • Clauses that allow Medicare to negotiate the cost of drugs.
  • Ongoing subsidies to help people buy private insurance on health market exchanges.

A health care provision, included in previous versions of the bill but removed from last week’s proposal, would provide private health care insurance paid by the federal government on health care exchanges for those who fall within the federal poverty level. to be able to obtain

Under current law, people with incomes below the federal poverty level are not subject to market policy.

An analysis by Judith Solomon, a health policy analyst at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, found that two million Americans would have access to health insurance through the plan, most of them living in Texas, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. is. Mostly Republican politicians in the Southern states have opposed the expansion of Medicaid.

In Mississippi, it is estimated that between 200,000 and 300,000 primarily working Mississippians will be eligible for coverage if the state expands Medicaid.

If Mississippi expands Medicaid under current law, the federal government will cover 90% of medical costs, and the state will cover the rest. Governor Tate Reeves, House Speaker Philip Gunn and others have argued that Mississippi cannot afford the cost of expanding Medicaid, but multiple studies show that the expansion would involve billions of dollars infusions into federal funding. It has been found to actually increase state revenue collection.

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