In the four years before Haley Barbour became Governor:
- There was a health care crisis in Mississippi and it was caused by lawsuit abuse. Frivolous lawsuits increased the cost of health care and caused doctors to leave the state and hospitals to lose insurance. Obstetric wards were closing and neurosurgeons had stopped performing emergency surgery.
- The cost of Medicaid, the program through which taxpayers provide health care for more than 20% of all Mississippians, had nearly doubled. The unsustainable increases in the cost of Medicaid threatened the solvency of the program upon which so many rely and was sucking money away from other priorities such as education and law enforcement.
Haley’s Plan: A Healthy Mississippi
- Enact tort reform to ensure access to quality health care.
- Promote disease management to improve health care at a lower cost.
- Protect the solvency of Medicaid so it can serve those who truly need it.
The Results of Haley’s Plan?
We are keeping our doctors in our state and
taking care of the truly needy with a financially solvent Medicaid program.
- The Governor worked with the Legislature to enact what the Wall Street Journal called the most comprehensive tort reform legislation in the country to end lawsuit abuse. After tort reform, the largest insurer of doctors in the state cut their rates for the first time in years and began writing new policies, the biggest health care insurer in the state cut their rates, and new insurance providers entered Mississippi.
- It is wrong for a family to work hard at two or three jobs to raise their kids and pay for healthcare, and then have to turn around and pay extra taxes so others who are able to work and take care of themselves instead choose not to but get free healthcare at taxpayers expense. Under Governor Barbour, Medicaid is now checking people’s eligibility face-to-face. Since Governor Barbour took office, the Medicaid rolls have decreased to less than 600,000 and Medicaid is spending less money this year than last year.
- Under Governor Barbour, Medicaid has changed its prescription drug program to better utilize generic drugs instead of more expensive brand name drugs. When Haley took office, 45% of the drugs prescribed by Medicaid were generic; now 58% of the drugs prescribed are generic. In the last year, the cost of prescription drugs in the Medicaid program has dropped 32%, saving taxpayers millions of dollars.
- If health problems are detected early, it is easier for them to be treated. Under Governor Barbour, Medicaid is offering a free annual physical examination to every Medicaid beneficiary to check them for diabetes, high blood pressure, and to make sure they’re taking the right medications.
- To improve health care for more than 100,000 state employees, state retirees, and their families, the state employee insurance plan is now providing 100% pre-deductible coverage up to $250 for wellness/preventive services.