On Wednesday, March 27th, over 200 people were in attendance to advocate at the press conference held at the MS State Capitol asking state legislators to please consider options to provide more access and better quality healthcare for Mississippians.

Over the Easter weekend and on Monday, April 1st, the House failed to pass the Medicaid appropriations bill.  This was a strategic move made in order to keep the likelihood of having a debate and vote on Medicaid expansion possible during a special session.  However, even if the appropriations had passed, the Division of Medicaid will sunset on July 1st because 2 weeks earlier, the vote to re-authorize the division failed.  The Governor will now have to call a special session to continue to work on Medicaid and Medicaid expansion. 

The AHA and other organizations are working to improve health care coverage for low-income families and individuals is critically important to our efforts in making Mississippi healthier through Medicaid.  Medicaid is an important lifeline for low-income patients to receive the care that they so desperately need. Moreover, increased coverage is the gateway to improving public health and reducing the chronic disease burden in Mississippi.  We are at a critical point in this fight, which is why the AHA has joined forces with organizations including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Catholic Charities, Forest General Hospital, and the Mississippi Economic Policy Center just to name a few.  We have formed a coalition called Mississippi Health Care Access to advocate for better access and quality of health care for Mississippians. 

By expanding health care to more Mississippians, we will in turn, save lives and save money by creating a healthier Mississippi and a healthier workforce.  For more information about the coalition, go to www.accessms.org.