JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – I think the Mississippi Legislature had a successful stay in Jackson. Some much needed laws were passed.
I don’t want to be like the overbearing parent, scrutinizing a table a child has just polished and pointing out that they missed a spot, but the Legislature missed a spot or two, in my opinion.
One is the expansion of Medicaid. Mississippi is the poorest state in the union, and the unhealthiest state in the union. By some accounts, as many as 300,000 of our residents have not medical insurance because they either don’t make enough to buy it or make took much to qualify for Medicaid.
This is about a third of the population of the state. They either do without treatment or go to a hospital emergency rooms.
Medicaid expansion would free up hospital space and resources by allowing people to go to regular doctors for treatment. The Mississippi Hospital Association has already said they would pay the state’s part because it would be cheaper than the money it costs them to treat people who will never pay.
This is such a win-win situation that I don’t understand why Mississippi didn’t expand Medicaid as soon as it was available, except perhaps it has the name Obama Care associated with it.
The other think I had hoped would be restored is the ballot initiative process, by which the people of the state can place issues on the ballot that are not being addressed by the Legislature.
We have medical marijuana because it was first passed by a ballot initiative. The process by which the state flag was changed was started by a ballot initiative. I guess we could restore ballot initiative, except the Legislature failed to pass it.
The next time we vote for the people who vote for what we want in Jackson, make sure we use our own initiative and only vote for the ones who actually will move us ahead as a state and not those who habitually still think this is still the state of power politics of the 1960s.