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Leaders voice healthcare bill opposition

JACKSON and WASHINGTON — Current healthcare reform proposals debated in the U.S. Congress would raise health insurance rates for Mississippi families and businesses and push affordable healthcare out of reach, Gov. Haley Barbour wrote in a letter to all members of Mississippi’s Congressional delegation Oct. 27.

Barbour cited an analysis by Blue Cross Blue Shield Association of a U.S. Senate Finance Committee bill that shows health insurance rates increasing by an average $3,869 for Mississippi families within five years of implementation. The cost of individual plans would rise by an average $1,800.

"Obviously, these enormous cost increases are against the interests of Mississippi’s families and small businesses," Barbour wrote. "While some may criticize the fact that this analysis was done by Blue Cross Blue Shield, it is totally consistent with the history of states like New York, Massachusetts and Maine," all of which have healthcare programs with features common to the bills pending in Congress.

Barbour added, "If our goal is to reduce the cost of health insurance and medical care so that more Americans can afford it, this legislation is a step in the wrong direction."

U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper (R–Miss.) delivered remarks Oct. 27 on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in opposition to a Democratic healthcare plan “Do we have good doctors in this country? Do we have good surgeons? Do we have good hospitals? And do we have reasonable access to that care? The answer is clear that we do," Harper said. "Do you believe that a government takeover of our healthcare system will make health care better or worse? Do you really trust the federal government to take over this important part of our lives? The last thing that we need is to have some government bureaucrat standing between you and your doctor while making these important decisions.

“Finally, the Democratic health care plan will hurt seniors by cutting Medicare. This Democratic plan will push unfunded mandates to my home state of Mississippi in the average amount of $360 million a year for the next 10 years. My district and our country simply can’t afford this.”

About Wally Northway


  1. I’d really like to see an independent breakdown of the numbers. If the health care legislation will cost Mississippians more, then it should be easily to independently verify.

    In regard to Harper’s rhetoric, all the seniors in the USA have free, government-run health care. If they are willing to give it up because it is so poorly run, we’d know it by now. I think you would have to twist some arms to get them to say private insurance is better.

  2. There are so many aspects of this plan that the politicians keep overlooking though. The medical industry is wrought with overspending and has gone for too long without any regulation or oversight. Insurance premiums have gone up 138% for a reason and it isn’t simply corporate greed.
    Private insurance companies are a part of the problem, yes. When regarding health, private insurance never should have been allowed to be profitable business in the first place. For-profit insurance means requires a need to make money and inevitably that is going to affect the quality of the insurance that people are getting from the company. Companies don’t want to spend money on an individual so they will take whatever measures necessary to ensure they don’t have to. But the medical industry has been profiting all along as well. Procedural costs, visits, even x-rays cost varying amounts state to state, city to city and practitioners are being bounced around by pharmaceutical companies to try and make money while waiting a year or more for the insurance companies to pay up.
    This may be why the US was ranked #37 according to the World Health Organization. http://www.ourblook.com/component/option,com_sectionex/Itemid,200076/id,8/view,category/#catid107
    Either health care needs to become a single unit in which there are no privatized barriers or we find a way to actually bring health care back to a fair free market based standing. The entire industry is wrought with greed from every angle, physicians hiking costs, pharmaceutical companies giving incentives for pushing their products, lobbyists paid to benefit insurance companies, lobbyists paid to benefit pharmaceutical interests. Where do we draw the line? Health care has had nothing to do with actual care for well beyond two decades.

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