Organizations band together to get Medicaid Expansion initiative on Mississippi ballot

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Several organizations are banding together to get people to decide on Medicaid Expansion in Mississippi by putting an initiative on the ballot.

The Mississippi Hospital Association and the Mississippi National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) wants voters to be part of the decision making process.

“We get complaints around a number of issues that come to the NAACP. I can’t count the number of times where we’ve gotten phone calls, messages about people having issues with access to healthcare,” said Corey Wiggins, executive director of the Mississippi NAACP.

Medicaid Expansion is a topic that has died in the Mississippi Legislature, year after year. On the last day of the 2021 Legislative Session, House Speaker Philip Gunn (R) said he remains opposed to Medicaid Expansion.

“I’m not open to Medicaid Expansion. I’m not in favor of that. What I know about that, we can’t afford that. There are numerous reasons why we don’t need to do that,” stated Gunn.

For now, the initiative is still in the early stages. Mississippi is reportedly one of 12 states that has not expanded Medicaid, leaving hundreds of thousands of citizens in the dark.

“I think the thing again that is most important about this is listening to the ear, listening and being a representative to so many folks across the state that say, ‘Hey, this needs to be done, and we’re trying to move this process along,'” said Wiggins.

The initiative requires 106,000 signatures to be considered for the 2022 midterm election.

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