Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Haley Barbour's Fantasy Mississippi Medicaid Queens

"We have people pull up at the pharmacy window in a BMW and say they can't afford their [Medicaid] co-payment."
--Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Feb. 27, 2011

To qualify for Medicaid in Mississippi, you have to be dirt poor, so dirt poor that it's damn hard to afford bus fare, never mind a clunker, and certainly not a BMW. Thankfully Obama has rejected Barbour's plan to take Medicaid away from some of the poorest people in the nation.

The Washington Post's Fact Checker judges Gov. Haley Barbour's ridiculous statement to be: "a whopper":

Mississippi provides some of the lowest Medicaid benefits to working adults in the nation. A parent who isn't working can qualify only if annual family income is less than 24 percent of the poverty line. Working parents qualify only if they make no more than 44 percent of the federal poverty level. Seniors and people with disabilities are eligible with income at 80 percent of the poverty line. Pregnant women do better -- they're eligible with income up to 185 percent of the poverty level.

Translated from the federal poverty guidelines, that means a working Mississippi couple with one child could earn no more than $8,150 a year and still qualify for Medicaid, seniors and people with disabilities could earn no more than $8,700, and a pregnant woman could earn no more than $20,000 a year.

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