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October 27, 2009

GOVERNOR BARBOUR REITERATES CONCERN OVER COSTS OF HEALTHCARE REFORM PROPOSALS

Current healthcare reform proposals debated in the U.S. Congress would raise health insurance rates for Mississippi families and businesses and push affordable healthcare out of reach, Governor Haley Barbour wrote in a letter to all members of Mississippi's Congressional delegation Tuesday.

An analysis by Blue Cross Blue Shield Association of a U.S. Senate Finance Committee bill shows health insurance rates increasing by an average $3,869 for Mississippi families within five years of implementation. The cost of individual plans would rise by an average $1,800.

"Obviously, these enormous cost increases are against the interests of Mississippi's families and small businesses," Governor Barbour wrote. "While some may criticize the fact that this analysis was done by Blue Cross Blue Shield, it is totally consistent with the history of states like New York, Massachusetts and Maine," all of which have healthcare programs with features common to the bills pending in Congress.

"If our goal is to reduce the cost of health insurance and medical care so that more Americans can afford it, this legislation is a step in the wrong direction," Governor Barbour said.

Read Governor Barbour's letter here.