LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Medicaid Expansion is Crucial for Mississippians

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Dear Editor,

As a 5-diagnoses cancer survivor, and as a long-time advocate for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, I am well aware of the financial burden of those less fortunate who have limited resources, many of whom are non or underinsured.

Having cancer is scary enough. I can’t imagine having to worry about affording my treatment or whether I could see a doctor.

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For too many people in Mississippi, that’s a sad reality because the state has not yet increased access to Medicaid — leaving over 228,000 residents without access to the health care they need and deserve. This Medicaid Awareness month, I want the community and lawmakers to understand how critical Medicaid expansion is to diagnosing, treating and preventing cancer.

Research shows that people without health coverage are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at a later stage when it is more costly to treat, and they’re less likely to survive.

Expanding our state’s Medicaid program will also benefit our local economy and residents by returning taxpayer dollars to support jobs and health care in Mississippi.

These are just some of the many reasons why we should support Medicaid expansion.

Mississippi lawmakers have missed a big opportunity. As an American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteer, I urge lawmakers to pass Medicaid expansion as soon as possible. For the 18,250 diagnosed with cancer this year, it’s a matter of life or death.

Sincerely,

Pearl W. Carter, Volunteer
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)
Vicksburg