Of 29 studies that looked at the economic impact of Medicaid, the joint federal-state health care program for low-income Americans, percent that found Medicaid spending has a positive impact on state economies: 100

Rank of Medicaid among the largest sources of federal funds for states: 1

Amount Mississippi appropriated to Medicaid in fiscal year 2012: $819.3 million

Amount Mississippi drew down from the federal government for its program as a result: $2.4 billion

Amount that spending generated in salaries in Mississippi: $2.365 billion

Amount that spending added to Mississippi’s general fund: $156.6 million

Rank of Mississippi among the states that would see the largest influx of federal funding from the Medicaid expansion that’s part of the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. “Obamacare”: 1

Rank of Medicaid among the greatest economic development engines for Mississippi, according to a state representative who’s considered one of the legislature’s leading experts on the program: 1

Percent of Mississippi residents who live in poverty: 22.4

Rank of Mississippi among the states with the highest poverty rates: 1

Rank of Mississippi among the states with the highest unemployment rates: 8th

Current unemployment rate in Mississippi: 8.7

Amount Mississippi would be expected to receive between 2014 and 2019 under the Medicaid expansion: $9.8 billion

Percentage that amount represents of Mississippi’s yearly gross state product: 10

Date on which Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) said he planned to resist Medicaid expansion in his state: 6/28/2012

Of the 19 states with rates of uninsured residents higher than the national average, number in the South (see accompanying chart; click for larger version): 9

Of those nine Southern states, number where the governors have said they are refusing or considering to refuse the Medicaid expansion: 7

(Click on figure to go to source. Map from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Chart from the paper “Give Me Liberty or at Least Your Votes: A Study of Governors’ Altruism on Health Care” by John Hudak with the Brookings Institution.)

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Sue Sturgis

Sue Sturgis

Sue Sturgis joined the Institute for Southern Studies in November 2005 as director of the Institute's Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch, a project to document and investigate the post-Katrina recovery. A former staff writer for the Raleigh News & Observer and Independent Weekly (Durham, N.C.), Sue directs and regularly contributes to the Institute's online magazine, Facing South, with a focus on energy and environmental issues. Sue is the author or co-author of five Institute reports, including Faith in the Gulf (Aug/Sept 2008), Hurricane Katrina and the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (January 2008) and Blueprint for Gulf Renewal (Aug/Sept 2007). Sue holds a Masters in Journalism from New York University.