The Candidates and Mississippi Health Care - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson 10/08/08

The Candidates and Mississippi Health Care

By Jon Kalahar
jkalahar@wlbt.net

You've heard both candidates for president talk about how this country's health care system is broken.

Well, what's the best way to fix it? We spoke to state health experts to find out how they'd make health care in Mississippi better.

"We have to include the public in addressing these needs, they deal with this on a daily basis," said Roy Mitchell, director, Mississippi Health Advocacy Program.

The director for the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program, Roy Mitchell knows what he's talking about.  His group has spoken with Mississippians about changes they'd like to see to health care in the state.

"People are just totally frustrated with the current system and they have their own ideas about how we should address them," said Mitchell.

Mitchell says Mississippians want affordable health coverage, whether it be at the doctor's office or pharmacy. McCain and Obama agree they just have different ideas to get there. Obama wants to increase enrollment in Medicaid and the children's health insurance program. McCain is proposing a five thousand dollar tax credit so families can buy their own coverage.

Over at the state department of health, Doctor Ed Thompson says he wants to see more money spent on preventative measures.

"Such as screening for diabetes, screening for hypertension or counseling and provision of services for smoking cessation, those are clinical preventative services and we need to see re-imbursements for those," said Dr. Thompson.

Board of Health president and private practice physician, Dr. Luke Lampton agrees.

"There's no positive re-imbursement or any sort of push to get physicians to be aggressive in managing preventative health measures, that needs to be the focus of our health system," said Dr. Lampton.

The Mississippi Health Advocacy Program has scheduled five more meetings to talk with Mississippians on the state of health care in Mississippi.

The first one in on the USM campus next Monday starting at 5:30. For a complete list of the community meetings you can go to their web site at www.mhap.org.

And if you can't make it to the meeting, they will be taking comments on-line as well.

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