About 60,000 Mississippians are enrolled in the Affordable Care Act. Republican Congressman Gregg Harper says, he's confident Congress will repeal the health insurance program once President-elect Donald Trump is in office. Harper made the comments at a press forum in Jackson. He says Republicans don't have an alternative health insurance plan to roll out now. But they will. He says Mississippians can count on some provisions remaining intact, such as coverage for existing conditions and parents insuring children through age 26.
"But you're also looking at other things where you can open up insurance markets. You can have across state line competition. You've got to get more companies involved," said Harper.
Critics argue the healthcare program is too intrenched to dismantle. But Harper says it's too costly for insurers and consumers. He supports using community health centers as a model and options like offering small co-pays and using Telehealth. On the education front, Trump has selected Betsy Devos as secretary of education. The conservative activist supports school choice, an option Mississippi's Republican leadership also supports through charter schools. Congressman Harper.
"Mississippi has been ahead of that curve already on moving in that direction, so I do believe that that will mesh quite well with what the Trump Administration and the new education secretary will have in mind," said Harper.
Charter schools receive the bulk of their funding from taxes that support traditional public schools. Critics say the state board of education doesn't oversee charter schools, so they should not receive public dollars.