Using the blueprint created by
"Why would you not say yes to helping the working poor of
In the final debate before the runoff, Lt. Gov.
"I do not believe putting 300,000 more Mississippians on government health care is a good solution," Reeves said during Wednesday's debate.
"We have to do it," Waller said. "We have 31 hospitals in danger of closing."
Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government pays for 90 percent of the costs for the expansion Medicaid population with the states responsible for the remaining 10 percent.
Under the Mississippi Cares proposal, participants would pay
"Hospitals are willing to step up and invest," Moore said. "That's what makes this work."
Mississippi Cares would be open to adults 19-64 earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, which puts them below the income needed to assess subsidies and tax credits on the federal exchange. Children in these families typically qualify for CHIP or Medicaid and would remain under those programs, Moore said. Between 163,000 and 300,000 Mississippians could potentially take advantage of the program.
"We're already caring for a large portion of this population," said
Across the state,
"It will be a significant contribution to rural hospital sustainability," Spees said.
In addition to the monthly premiums, the Mississippi Cares proposal also includes a
The proposal does include work requirements for those not enrolled in job-training or educational programs with some exceptions.
"Two-thirds of this group is already working," Moore said. "They just can't afford health insurance."
The coverage would mirror Medicaid plan benefits for adults, with the exception of non-emergency transportation services. They would have unlimited physician visits and six prescriptions per month. Dental and vision would be included.
The program has been reviewed by actuaries, health insurance experts and economists, Moore said. Their analysis projects a
For Mississippi Cares to become a reality, it would require approval from the Legislature and a 1115 waiver from the
During the debate, Reeves expressed concern that a Mississippi Cares waiver would not receive federal approval, citing the recent rejection of
As Moore has presented the Mississippi Cares plan at civic groups across the state, the proposal has been well received.
"The No. 1 questions has been 'Why have we not already done this?" Moore said.
(c)2019 the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (Tupelo, Miss.)
Visit the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (Tupelo, Miss.) at www.djournal.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.