When the Supreme Court made Medicaid expansion optional, there were very few people who thought it would be remotely possible in Mississippi. But we knew it was. Because we are health justice advocates, organizers and leaders who know what people want – whether they are in New York or Mississippi. And we know that when are able to organize and to tell the story of how things can be different, that we can win. 

This legislative session, a Medicaid expansion package almost passed in Mississippi – after almost 10 years of organizing, building and strengthening coalitions. The package included a work requirement provision which we know is just unnecessary red tape that undermine people’s access to the program and undercuts our shared vision for health justice we are driving towards: that every person needs and deserves affordable, quality health care. 

We are so proud of how far we’ve come as a coalition; the people we’ve been able to organize. In organizing, there is never only one bite at the apple – and we are ready to keep building on the momentum that has been created. 

Like North Carolina’s expansion last year, and movement in Alabama, Georgia and Kansas, Mississippi lawmakers understand what lawmakers from both sides of the aisle in 40 other states have agreed on: that closing the Medicaid coverage gap makes sense.  

We should take a moment to recognize the tremendous work of Care4Mississippi this past year, from pushing Medicaid expansion as a central issue of the 2023 gubernatorial race to getting proposed Medicaid expansion legislation passed through the state House and Senate for the first time ever. Care4Mississippi has laid a solid foundation, and we are hopeful that eventually a bill which expands access to Medicaid coverage – without red tape and bureaucratic hurdles – will become a reality for the 200,000 people of Mississippi who are waiting for affordable care. 

Our Mississippi partners know that the state Legislature must act to find a solution to the coverage gap because the people simply can’t wait any longer. Mississippi has among the highest rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes in the country while also having one of the highest uninsured rates at 11 percent. Additionally, Mississippi’s rural hospitals and clinics are impacted by this uncompensated care. Almost half of Mississippi rural hospitals are struggling financially and on the verge of closing. Access to quality and affordable health care is essential to keeping Mississippi families and communities healthy and the state thriving. 

We are not done. We will keep organizing, keep telling stories, keep building tables, and keep pushing back on work requirements – because they are harmful and they are designed to undermine equity. They are designed to divide us. But we won’t be divided and we will never stop fighting for the coverage we all deserve. 

Below, you can find statements from Community Catalyst partners in Mississippi, for which we are incredibly grateful for their ongoing and relentless focus on health justice, and our shared commitment to equity.  


Mona Shah, Senior Director of Policy and Strategy & Angie Postal, Senior Director of Programs and Advocacy 
Community Catalyst 

Statement from Care4Missippi:  

“Throughout this legislative session, our coalition has been advocating to close the coverage gap. While politics got in the way of closing the gap this session, we are not deterred. We will build on the progress we made this year and continue to advocate for a consensus that provides affordable health care for working Mississippians, secures federal dollars for Mississippi’s economy, and delivers much-needed support to our rural hospitals.  

“While we acknowledge that the session did not end how we would have liked, the work carries on. A Medicaid Expansion bill passed both the House and Senate and went to conference for the first time in Mississippi history.  

“Care4Mississippi moves forward with more momentum to carry us into the next fight. We are determined to build on the outstanding grassroots engagement, outreach & education, and relationship-building that brought us so close this year. We thank all of our partners, organizers, and champions for their tireless efforts. We know this fight is far from over. We will continue to hold our leaders accountable until Mississippi closes the coverage gap once and for all.”