This is the seventh year the non-profits coalition, Communities for a Clean Bill of Health has petitioned the state legislature to pass a one dollar cigarette tax. But with lawmakers only days away from an agreement, this group made one more effort to influence their decision.
“The only results of this in-person interview requirement have been millions in new administrative costs and thousands of children being left without health care,” the MHAP said in a report issued Wednesday.
Further changes to the bill removed requirements for children 16 and younger to attend in-person interviews to re-enroll in CHIP. A recent federal heath-care expansion offers financial incentives for states that enroll more kids who are eligible.
Figures from the state Tax Commission estimate an 82-cent per pack hike in the cigarette tax would generate more than $200 million annually. Some say that is overly optimistic. It may be, but there is no debate about the fact an 82-cent increase would generate much more than the $45 million needed for the House plan to fund the Medicaid deficit.
Under this request for proposals, the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program is inviting the participation of community-based organizations that currently work with underserved populations who directly and indirectly have a stake in the issue of healthy mothers and improved birth outcomes.
Thank you for your support of this bill, including your calls and emails. It was only with your help that this bill was able to pass by such a large margin.We now need your help in the senate this weekend.