Thursday, May 9, 2024

Voter ID Lessons can Drive Healthcare Reform Legislation

 Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann authored and sponsored this post.  

In 2011, as your Secretary of State, when I proposed a new policy to protect your vote — and the integrity of our elections — I was told repeatedly that Mississippi’s newly enacted Voter ID law would not pass constitutional muster. The U.S. Department of Justice will single out Mississippi, they said, and they will sue in federal court to stop our Voter ID law.

These gloom and doom predictions never happened.

Instead, voters overwhelmingly supported the Voter ID measure on the ballot with 62 percent of the vote. Subsequently, I went to visit with lawyers at the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice to discuss how we were going to implement the Voter ID law.

Mississippi was never sued or stopped from bringing about real election integrity. Today, we have the strongest Voter ID law which has been successful in securing our elections and there has been no expensive lawsuits trying to stop us.

Now, as your Lt. Governor, I believe if approached the right way, we could have the same outcome with a plan to reform healthcare and extend coverage to thousands of working Mississippians.

This past legislative session, the final offer from the Senate, before talks broke down between the chambers, would have extended healthcare coverage to people making less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level (less than $43,056 for a family of four) through a form of a hybrid plan utilized by other states and paid for by healthcare organizations.

The proposal also included a work requirement for anyone eligible for this type of healthcare coverage, with notable exceptions for people taking care of young children, students pursuing a higher degree or certificate, and others.

Since 2019, when I went on record as one of the first statewide Republicans who supported exploring healthcare reform options, I have been clear that in any proposal, I support a real work requirement.

With a labor force participation rate of 53.7 percent in Mississippi, the lowest in the country, it is important we incentivize and support people who get a job and provide for their families. A real work requirement provision in healthcare reform legislation is a bottom line for my fellow Republicans in the Senate too.

Some have labeled this position a poison pill for the program, but I could not disagree more.

In the final days of the legislative session, we received reliable word the federal government would look favorably upon our waiver request, including the work requirement, as part of the healthcare reform bill. Perhaps this is because so many other states are interested in amending their own waivers, to include a work requirement (such as Louisiana, Arkansas, North Carolina).

Just like with Voter ID, we already have a roadmap for approaching things differently and achieving a positive result.

Meanwhile, during this session, we provided historic, equitable funding for our public schools; allocated an additional $380 million for our roads and bridges; took steps to shore up our retirement system; and even provided better access to healthcare through other legislation like presumptive eligibility for pregnant women seeking Medicaid coverage.

It took the Senate fighting for three years to ensure the women received proper postpartum care coverage. I still believe we can work together to accomplish a long-term goal of healthcare reform to help working people of our state. This requires proposing commonsense legislation, which I believe must include a work requirement, crafted in a way which will make Mississippi a model for other states to follow.

Just like Voter ID, we have proven that Mississippi can think bigger and bolder about solutions to challenges facing our state. I am committed to making that happen in the future with healthcare reform legislation.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS