Study Says Medicaid Expansion Would Boost Economy

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Jackson, Miss.

A nonprofit group contends Mississippi is losing billions of dollars in potential economic activity by not expanding Medicaid.

The Mississippi Health Advocacy Program released a study Thursday showing expansion would generate about 20,000 new jobs in the state the next few years.

Gov. Phil Bryant and other Republicans say the state can't afford Medicaid expansion, even with the federal government paying most of the tab.

Under the health overhaul states have the option to extend Medicaid to people earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. That's about $26,950 for a family of three.

In Mississippi now, a family of three may earn no more than about $5,600 and qualify for Medicaid. Many low-income childless adults don't qualify at all.