Governor Phil Bryant's lack of education about the Affordable Care Act strikes again. In an interview with the Associated Press, Bryant shows that he prefers to live in his fantasy land where the voices of the Tea Party keep him in a constant state of frenzy.
What Bryant suggests is that anyone can sign up for Medicaid even if he or she does not qualify. If he stands by his own logic, if one wishes to call it that, 100 percent of Mississippi could be signed up for Medicaid regardless if we have a federal or state-run health insurance marketplace. Why, then, haven't we seen a flood of Mississippians overwhelming the Division of Medicaid's computers with three million applications for enrollment? Because it cannot legally happen. By now, we know that during the special session a few months ago, the Tea Party-led House of Representatives went on record rejecting an attempt to expand Medicaid.During the AP interview, Bryant said he thought if Mississippi had a state-run exchange, the navigators could unilaterally decide to sign people up for Medicaid, even if they earn too much money to qualify.Regardless of the fact that the Legislature has not expanded Medicaid?"Regardless of what the Legislature would have said," Bryant said.But how would that be possible?"I have gotten no assurances that that would not be the case," Bryant said.
At an event in Jackson this past Friday, workers at the Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center spent the day enrolling individuals and families into private health insurance plans. There were no mentions that those who attended the event were signed up for Medicaid. In fact, according to the Clarion-Ledger article, those who attended were excited about the opportunity to enroll in their own private health insurance plan.
It is no secret that Governor "No Assurances" Bryant does not care for the Affordable Care Act. His track record of false statements and inaccuracies is well documented. A search of this site will give you plenty of examples to review. Still, it is stunning to see and hear what Bryant is making up in order to discredit the Affordable Care Act.
Bryant's paranoia is progressing to the point of suggesting that the Executive Director of Medicaid, his own appointee, would agree to break the law in order to have ineligible persons become beneficiaries. Bryant should find some comfort in knowing that mental health services are considered an Essential Health Benefit under the Affordable Care Act. Whether he will believe it is up to him.