Mississippi remains near bottom of national health rankings, beating only Louisiana

December 21, 2018, The Clarion-Ledger, Luke Ramseth - Mississippi moved up one spot from last place - surpassing Louisiana - in the latest annual health rankings compiled by the United Health Foundation. But the state continues to grapple with last or near-last rankings across a host of health metrics, such as cancer and cardiovascular deaths, diabetes rates and infant mortality. Mississippi also failed to show any improvement in obesity and physical inactivity, the 2018 America’s Health Rankings report revealed. If the state hopes to significantly improve health outcomes and move up in the rankings, it needs to focus on decreasing its uninsured rate by expanding Medicaid coverage, said Roy Mitchell, executive director of the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program. The Affordable Care Act gave states the ability, using mostly federal funds, to cover a large segment of their poor adult populations with Medicaid. But Mississippi is one of 14 Republican-controlled states that has not approved the coverage expansion. Nearly 12 percent of Mississippians are without insurance, the report said, among the highest percentages in the nation, and well above the national average of about 9 percent. “I don’t understand why we haven’t expanded Medicaid,” Mitchell said. “We’ve foregone a huge opportunity to get preventive care to a lot of working Mississippians.”

Click here to view the story.