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Supporters of Medicaid expansion rally at Capitol

JACKSON — More than 200 health advocates, doctors and others rallied at the Mississippi Capitol yesterday, asking legislators to expand Medicaid to the working poor.

Expansion appears unlikely, however, because it’s opposed by Gov. Phil Bryant and Republican leaders in the state House and Senate.

The three-month legislative session is scheduled to end April 7.

Sam Cameron, president and CEO of the Mississippi Hospital Association, says hospitals will lose payments they’ve been receiving for treating the uninsured and expanding Medicaid would help cover that gap.

Kimberly Hughes with the American Cancer Society’s lobbying group says people covered by Medicaid or other insurance are more likely than the uninsured to receive cancer screenings and other preventative care.

Medicaid expansion is optional under the federal health law President Barack Obama signed in 2010.

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