Mississippians have until midnight to sign-up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act - commonly known as Obamacare. In spite of a presidential executive order, advocates say nothing has changed regarding coverage for 2017. Opponents of the law are still pledging to work toward its repeal, but that would be unlikely to effect policies this calendar year.
There are of course parts of the Affordable Care Act that have nothing to do with subsidized health insurance. For example, the law allows children to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26. It also guarantees policies will be available for those with preexisting medical conditions. Roy Mitchell is with the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program. He tells MPB's Desare Frazier about some other implications of dismantling Obamacare.
Barbara Davis is a church custodian in Jackson. The fifty-seven-year-old suffered for 10 years with a respiratory condition she couldn't diagnose because she couldn't afford to see a doctor. After buying health coverage through the Affordable Care Act, her doctor was able to diagnose her chronic illness. It was asthma, which is now under control. Davis even qualified for a subsidy to help pay her premiums. But as she explains to our Desare Frazier, she found that part a little bit confusing at first.
Segment 2: StoryCorps
A Mississippi youth court judge says recent state budget cuts are limiting the tools she has to keep young people out of detention. The Mississippi Department of Human Services is eliminating what it says is a $500,000 contract with an electronic monitoring company that provides ankle monitors for youth in 10 counties. Judge Margaret Alfonso of the Harrison County Youth Court says the monitors are important. She explains to MPB's Ezra Wall.
Judge Alfonso confirms that she was told by the company providing the monitoring service that it costs 10 dollars per day, per youth.
The state Department of Human Services disagrees, saying the monitors are part of an annual $500,000 contract. MDHS says the average cost per day last year was about $38 per youth. Human Services Deputy Executive Director Garrig Shields talks more about why the cuts were necessary.