MMA Endorses Barbour

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The announcement of an endorsement by the Mississippi Medical Association PAC for Haley Barbour, a GOP candidate for governor, was made by Dr. Patrick Barrett of Jackson.

"For the first time ever, the Mississippi Medical Political Action Committee has endorsed a candidate seeking the state's highest office. We've endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate Haley Barbour as our candidate in the race for governor of Mississippi," said Barrett.

"It is an honor to be the first candidate for governor ever to be endorsed by the state's doctors," said Barbour. "You can see why health care providers in Mississippi are crying out for change. There's a crisis in health care in Mississippi and it's being caused by lawsuit abuse."

Then he outlined his proposed solution. "Effective tort reform has to be led by the governor. I will lead for tort reform beginning the first day of the legislative session in January," Barbour said.

Barbour called for a state medical review board for all medical liability cases, with an expert independent review board to scrutinize every claim of malpractice before it goes to court and the review board's findings would be admissible in court.

He also endorsed Medicaid, but questioned the present spending level.

"Mississippians are committed to quality health care for the poor and I share that commitment," said Barbour. "At the same time our taxpayers deserve that this care be provided at reasonable cost."

Barbour said Medicaid spending had nearly doubled in the last three years.

Incumbent Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, seeking his second term, has been endorsed by the Mississippi Association of Educators.