Save Mississippi’s Medicaid

During the regular legislative session, lawmakers did not reauthorize Medicaid funding. Thus, on July 1, Mississippi’s Medicaid program will no longer be funded. This will not only affect individuals covered by Medicaid, but all who are employed in jobs that are funded in full or in part by Medicaid dollars. The defunding of Medicaid will result in thousands of layoffs and firings in the health care field.

 

That’s why I started a petition to Governor Phil Bryant, which says:

 

As July 1, 2013 ticks ever closer, we understand the tremendous impact not funding Medicaid will have on our state. Not only will thousands of children, pregnant women, and the disabled not have the health care they desperately need, but money for sliding fee scale clinics, STD testing, pregnancy prevention, and mental health services will be cut off from the community. This lack of funding will lead to massive layoffs and firings within the Mississippi health care and social services sector.

The health and well-being of Mississippi is not a partisan issue. Call the special session immediately!

 

Click here to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends.

 

Thanks!

 

–Laurie Roberts

 

Time to step up and help the people of Mississippi….we have had enough vague promises and political games……time to get serious about the state’s residents……

 

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More Diabetes For The State?

The state is the fattest in the country and in being so has a disproportionate amount of diabetes and with the state being the poorest in the country, that means that the state Medicaid program is hit hard by diabetes and diabetes related diseases…..

On to another subject…the state has raised taxes on tobacco with the hopes that it will cost so much that people will quit smoking and become much more healthy…..and there is the rub of this post….

A study by U.S. researchers found that people who stop smoking have a 70 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the first six years without cigarettes as compared to people who never smoked.

The researchers said they suspected the increased diabetes risk comes from extra weight gain common in people who quit.

The researchers found that people who quit smoking had a 70 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the first six years after stopping compared to people who never smoked. The risks were highest in the first three years, and returned to normal after 10 years.

Among those who did not stop smoking the risk was lower, but the chance of developing diabetes was still 30 percent higher compared with those who never smoked.

Type 2 diabetes — often called adult-onset diabetes — is a common disease that interferes with the body’s ability to properly use sugar and insulin, a substance produced by the pancreas which normally lowers blood sugar after eating.

Overweight people and those with a family history of the disease have an increased risk of developing it, as do smokers.

Diabetes is reaching epidemic levels, with an estimated 180 million people suffering from it around the world.

Diabetes cases are forecast to triple in the United States in the next 25 years to 44 million with the costs of caring for them rising to $336 billion a year.

So there you are…..will any extra tax money received through the taxes collected on cigarettes be off set by an increase in the number of diabetics that it could possible create?

Could This Be Mississippi’s Future?

All state’s are facing some critical decsions on their budgets and their shortfalls.  As always it is the poor and the elderly that will pay for the problems.  California’s new plan may become a template for other states, and especially Mississippi.  Why?

Mississippi has a large poor community and the programs that are earmarked for them are a huge drain on the state budget, at least according to the politicians.

But the Gov-in-ator has found a new way to deal wuith his budgetary problems.

Proposals to eliminate insurance for needy children, reduce Medi-Cal services for the poor and scale back assistance to the unemployed would choke off millions of dollars to Santa Cruz County and cripple access to health care and other critical services for thousands locally, advocates say.

In addition to the $248 million hit for Healthy Families, the governor has proposed a savings of $34 million in Medi-Cal expenses by eliminating breast and cervical cancer treatment for women over 65 and cutting all non-emergency health care for undocumented residents. The governor also is calling for $92 million of Medi-Cal savings by scaling back treatment and drug options for the mentally ill.

Here are the proposed cuts–it will be interesting to watch the Mississippi side of this to see if any ideas were gleemed from California.


The governor’s plans to reduce the state’s budget shortfall call for big hits to health programs. Among them:

Elimination of Healthy Families Programs ($248 million savings)

Reductions for Medi-Cal mental health programs ($92 million savings)

Elimination of Medi-Cal breast and cervical cancer treatment and non-emergency care for undocumented ($34 million)

Cuts to HIV/AIDS programs ($56 million savings)

Cuts to primary care services in rural areas ($34 million savings)

Reductions to maternal health programs ($10 million savings)

Reductions to CalWORKs programs ($1.3 billion savings)

The poor is being attacked, but what will the wealthy be asked to contribute?

Tobacco Companies Lose Again

The U.S. Court of Appeals has sided with a lower court, finding that cigarette companies set out to deliberately deceive consumers about the dangers of smoking. The court found the defendants, including Altria, violated federal racketeering laws.

I have a hard time with this and other rulings against tobacco companies.  Why?  For 40+ years they have been telling smokers on every pack that the habit is hazardous to their health and will cause death.
Now if the smoker chooses to ignore the warning then how can a company be held responsible for stupidity of a person?  It is the lawsuit lotto, as usual Americans do not want to take responsibility for their actions–someone else is ALWAYS to blame–never the individual and their ignorant choices.

Katrina Is Still Harming Coastians

Almost four years after Hurricane Katrina kicked the crap outta the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and the residents are still suffering from its effects.  First it was the extreme damage of property loss and lives lost.  Then it was the unscrupulous contractors.  On to FEMA trailers that were tainted.  A/holes that were defrauding the government even to include some government officials. And now, there is the possibility that an esstential of the rebuilding, drywall, may be dangerous.

The drywall in question has come to us from the country of lead paint, bad dog food and such, China.  A company named,  Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co., Ltd.

Some of the indications of bad or tainted drywall, the people the have used it have complained of respiratory problems, electronic devices inexplicably breaking down and a strong odors in their homes that smell like rotting eggs, which is due to the release of sulfur;  the sulfur smell is usually present, along with black deposits in bare copper wires, black deposits on the HVAC copper, changes to finishes on mirrors, pitting of chrome and other objects, as well as light switches that pop or have visible discharges.

Sadly, Katrina has continued to effect the lives of the Gulf Coast for years after the event and seems will continue that tact for many years to come.

Smokers Now, But Who Is Next?

Beginning April 1, the federal tax will increase 62 cents on a pack of cigarettes, bringing the total federal tax on a pack to $1.01.  Some tobacco companies already have increased their prices to help make up the difference.

I have read a piece that said the at least one million people have stop smoking ahead of the price increase.  Is that the desired outcome?  The higher price will force people to stop smoking or they will have to stop eating.

Has anyone stopped to consider something else?  Cigarette companies are a dying breed in the US….manufacturers.  The tax collect is to offset any future drain on the Medicaid/care system from the results of second hand smoke.  Cool, huh?

Are you ignorant?  Maybe just thick?  But that argument is just stupid!  Okay, let us say that millions of people stop smoking, thus stop buying the product….will not millions go to a US manufacturer that is in dire straits?  A bailout if you will.  So all the cash saved from those not smoking will be eaten up by another bailout of sorts.  Sounds like a sound, logical plan (that is sarcasm, in case you missed it).

So looking for another short term fix, these morons have created yet another failing industry that will most likely need bailing out.  What geniuses we elected!

With smoking eliminated what will be next?  Maybe everyone’s favorite liquor….or maybe those darn pesky fast food outlets.  Afterall, these institutions have and produce unhealthy side effects.

Once again the US government intervenes in the people’s private decisions….congrats morons!  You elected this group of idiots!

Where Is The State Tax On Smokes?

This is an editorial from the South Mississippi Sun-Herald:

Eight days after the Legislature convened this year, the House of Representatives voted 81-39 to increase the state tax on a pack of cigarettes from 18 cents to $1. Before the end of January, the Senate had voted 42-7 to increase the tax from 18 cents to 49 cents.

In early February, conferees from both chambers of the Legislature were named to work out the differences.

Yet more than a month later, with less than a month to go before the legislative session ends on April 4, not only has a compromise not been reached, negotiations have not begun.

Percy Watson of Hattiesburg, the chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, says he and others would rather wait on a dollar tax than settle for a 50-cent one.

That may be smart politics for Watson and other Democrats, but it is dumb public policy.

On April 1, the federal tax on a pack of cigarettes will jump from 39 cents to a fraction over $1. That federal tax hike ought to be coupled with a state tax increase to motivate smokers to quit.

The Senate’s proposed 49-cent per pack tax would match the average tax rate for states bordering Mississippi. It is a good place to start, and the House should embrace it and move on.

PLease look for the GSFP follow-up editorial on the smoking tax.