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Health reform forum planned for Tuesday

July 6th, 2017

By Michaela Gibson Morris | Daily Journal

TUPELO – A Tuesday health care reform forum will aim to shed light on what proposed federal legislation could mean for Mississippi.

The event, hosted by CATCH Kids and the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program, will run from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Link Centre reception hall in Tupelo. Lunch is provided free for those who RSVP by Friday to KC Grist at kcgrist@kcgrist.com.

“Basically it’s to present the facts and what the implications of the proposed changes are for Mississippi,” said Grist, who is helping to organize the non-partisan event.

Plans for the program evolved at the same time a loosely organized local group was looking to gather answers to questions about health care reform. The group is planning an Aug. 15 event with Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney.

“Health care changes are looming large, and Mississippi is so very vulnerable,” said Mary Jane Meadows, one of the organizers. “We wanted to develop forums to answer our questions and those of the community.”

At Tuesday’s forum, a health policy briefing will be presented by Amanda Ptashkin, Southern project manager for Community Catalyst, a national nonprofit organization focused on helping consumers have a voice in influencing local, state and nation decisions that affect their health.

Corey Wiggins, director of the Jackson-based Hope Policy Institute, will speak on how the American Health Care Act, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Better Care Reconciliation Act under consideration by the U.S. Senate could affect Mississippi Medicaid.

CATCH Kids executive director Valerie Long and Antone Tannehill Good Samaritan Free Clinic executive director Cindy Sparks will take part in a panel discussion about caring for the uninsured locally.

Ptashkin and Wiggins will be speaking at a series of forums planned across Mississippi by the health advocacy program and its local partners.

The Tuesday forum is one of a series the Mississippi Health Advocacy Center is hosting across Mississippi.

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