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Mon May 17, 2021, 04:56 AM

Medicaid Expansion Ballot Drive Begins in Mississippi: 'A Matter of Life And Death'

Jonathan Smith wants to see his four children grow up. And, he adds, he would like to be healthy enough to be the father that his four children deserve. But to bring those hopes to fruition, the Amory, Miss., man must first emerge victorious in a two-pronged battle: one part against a cancer affecting his brain and spinal cord, the other with a health-care system that he can no longer afford.

“I have just learned I have another surgery coming up. Without insurance, I can’t afford any of this. At this point, I feel like I shouldn’t be worried about battling the treatment; I should be battling the cancer,” Smith said in Madison, Miss., yesterday.

He was sharing his story for the launch of the Yes On 76 campaign, whose organizers hope to put Medicaid expansion on the ballot in Mississippi for the November 2022 election. If voters adopted it, around 200,000 working Mississippians who cannot currently afford health insurance would become eligible for the Medicaid program.

Since 2014, Mississippi has rejected more than $7 billion in federal dollars that could have been used to expand eligibility. Former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and current Gov. Tate Reeves, both Republicans, opposed Medicaid expansion after President Barack Obama created it when he signed the Affordable Care Act in 2010.

Read more: https://www.mississippifreepress.org/12117/medicaid-expansion-ballot-drive-begins-in-mississippi-a-matter-of-life-and-death/

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