Mississippi continues to rank at or near the bottom in nearly every health outcome. A reasonable first step to improving health outcomes would seem to be increasing the number of Mississippians with health insurance.
For five years, we have failed to expand Medicaid, which would ensure thousands of Mississippians are covered and closer to accessing critical health care services. One in five Mississippians lives below the poverty line, and thousands of our fellow citizens are working in low-wage jobs that don’t offer health insurance. This fact negatively impacts the state’s capacity to move forward and increase its economic viability. Almost three-fourths of the country has expanded Medicaid, including places like Louisiana and Arkansas. Residents of these states are experiencing increases in coverage, lower medical debt and improved health outcomes. This can happen in Mississippi, too.
Our lawmakers can address the health care needs of countless hard-working Mississippians who fall into the “gap” because they cannot afford coverage or because their jobs don’t provide it. Medicaid expansion would allow 167,000 uninsured adults to become eligible for health insurance. We rely on our lawmakers to develop Medicaid legislation that supports improved health outcomes. Other states have learned that Medicaid expansion is a reasonable path to improving health outcomes and lowering medical debt.
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Expanding Medicaid is common-sense legislation that will move Mississippi forward. I encourage our legislators to reconsider this issue and take action in the upcoming legislative session to support a healthier Mississippi.
Rev. Alice M. Graham, Ph.D.
Gratitude for a special time in Gulfport
On Dec. 26, our son and I visited the Gulfport Harbor Lights Festival. We parked and rode the Rapid Response bus from the parking garage. We bought two tickets at half-price, as we are both state residents. While there, we rode the train through the exhibits, at a very small cost of eight tickets. At the end of our outing, we rode the bus to the parking garage and headed on our way.
While not unusual, there were special circumstances for which I am especially grateful and thankful:
The Rapid Response buses were wheelchair accessible, with friendly, helpful and knowledgeable drivers.
Most of all, the city workers went above and beyond to ensure we had a wonderful time on the train. Our son uses a manual wheelchair, and the workers (two attendants and the train “conductor”) aided and assisted so we could enjoy the event. All of the workers assisted without being asked, volunteering to help make our outing a success, keeping an eye on our son’s wheelchair, and retrieving a special item that I dropped as we were leaving the train.
I would gladly have paid any amount asked to guarantee that our son would be able to take part in the joy of riding the train and seeing the lights — yet no one asked nor was any remuneration expected or implied.
Thank you for giving us an experience that will last for many years to come.
Sea level not rising
I’ve now lived here on the Coast in Harrison and Jackson counties for 50 years, except for a four-year stint in the U.S. Navy. I’ve not observed the level of the Mississippi Sound rise at all. If it only came up an inch a year in this time, it would have come up a little over 4 feet by now. Nope! Hasn’t come up at all, no matter what the global warming alarmists and their compliant media parrot, including the Sun Herald.
Mankind and their use of fossil fuels are not changing the earth’s climate, no matter how much the big government statists repeat the mantra. By now the polar ice caps were supposed to be gone according to Al Gore, yet there they are, and he is still touted as an “expert” on the subject. I urge all realists to continue to believe your truthful eyes and enjoy your life. God is in charge of the climate, not man.
Walls do work
The author from Carriere asserting that walls fail – Maginot Line, Hadrian’s Wall and the Great Wall of China – is without factual merit (Jan. 6 letter: Instead of a wall, use technology).
The Maginot Line did not fail — the German armored blitzkrieg that overwhelmed France in 1940 did not directly breach the Maginot Line but outflanked the Line by going through the Ardennes Forest in Belgium to invade France where the Line had not yet been built.
Hadrian’s Wall was a successful barrier from 128 A.D. until 410 A.D. when the Romans, who built the wall, abruptly abandoned the wall and withdrew Roman forces from Britannia — under Roman control there were no major breaches by the Picts.
The Great Wall of China was a successful barrier from the 8th Century into the 17th Century — Mongol raiders in the early 1400s did breached the barrier, but no invasion of substance or conquest occurred. Only the Manchu invasion which began in 1600, finally got through the wall some 44 years later in 1644, but only by means of treachery by a Ming general who opened the gates at a critical pass.
History tells us that walls do work, but if incomplete, abandoned or treachery happens, then serious consequences are likely. Walls are not just barriers, but also serve to channel the flow of peoples across borders to more safely manage the flow of people and commerce. History also tells us that walls are but a single tool and never intended to be the sole solution.