Health-justice advocates are still calling on state lawmakers to expand Medicaid, and state lawmakers still aren't answering.
The latest rally-cum-presser was this morning when hundreds of representatives of non-profits and social service agencies gathered at the Capitol to call on legislators to consider expanding the state health program for the poor.
"It's time to put people over politics," Sam Cameron, executive director of the Mississippi Hospital Association, said this morning.
Hospitals are especially interested in Medicaid expansion. Starting next year, hospitals will lose millions of dollars in federal funds that have historically offset the cost of caring for poor people who can't afford their hospital bills.
Citing the fact that state would have spend a little extra cash to fund Medicaid, Republican Gov. Phil Bryant and Speaker Gunn don't want Medicaid expansion to take place. Right now, the issue is at a standstill even as social-justice and religious groups have insisted that the Legislature at least have a debate on the question.
"Justice is a common ground on which we stand and we see this as a justice issue," said The Rev. Steve Casteel, president of the Mississippi Religious leadership Conference.