Robert Foster on Health Care



Work with federal government to expand Medicaid in MS

Retired Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. and first-term state Rep. Robert Foster spoke to an audience of about 100 people at the first debate of the 2019 campaign season, each saying he would make a long-term commitment to increasing teacher pay, improving highways and bridges and making health care more affordable.

Both said Mississippi should consider some sort of Medicaid expansion, possibly seeking permission from the federal government to let people buy coverage. Medicaid provides health insurance coverage for the needy, aged, blind and disabled, and expenses are paid by the federal and state governments. Nearly 721,000 people are enrolled in Medicaid in Mississippi.

Under the federal health law that then- Pres. Barack Obama signed in 2010, states have the option of expanding Medicaid to the working poor. Mississippi Republican leaders have declined to do so, citing concerns that the federal government might not honor its promise to pay for the expansion.

Source: MS Business Journal on 2019 Mississippi gubernatorial race , Apr 1, 2019

Everyone has access to healthcare; issue is affordability

The topic of Medicaid and healthcare was an issue that both [Republican candidates Bill Waller and Robert Foster] said Mississippi should consider some sort of Medicaid expansion. Both were careful to call it Medicaid reform saying they would possibly seek permission from the federal government to let people buy coverage. "Everybody has access to health care in America," said Foster. "The problem is, it's very unaffordable."

Waller mentioned the Medicaid plans in Arkansas, Utah, and Indiana specifically using something similar to Vice President Mike Pence's Indiana Medicaid reform. "We have 31 rural hospitals on the danger list right now and most of it can be attributed to the uncompensated care that they are forced to give," said Waller. "So yes, we have to look at it. It is a right to life question and it has to be accessible."

Source: NewsMS.FM on 2019 Mississippi gubernatorial debate , Mar 26, 2019

Consider some form of Medicaid expansion

Foster won attention shortly after his gubernatorial announcement with his call for some version of Medicaid expansion.

The Affordable Care Act, often called "ObamaCare," offers significant federal funding for such an expansion of Medicaid eligibility standards. Some states, however, have won permission to expand while imposing certain requirements, including work requirements.

Source: Tupelo Daily Journal on 2019 Mississippi governor's race , Mar 12, 2019

Reform Medicaid to cover 300,000 more Mississippians

Q: I've seen ads where you claim you don't support Medicaid expansion, but do support "reform." But what you describe as "reform" on your website sounds a lot like expansion, which involves accepting federal funds to expand access to Medicaid to about 300,000 Mississippians who make too much for traditional Medicaid, but not enough for Affordable Care Act subsidies. What's the difference?

A: You can use the word expansion, or you can use the word reform. I use the word reform because there's a big difference to me between reforming Medicaid and expanding it and just bringing more people onto the government payroll for health care. I think that's bad policy. I think it encourages dependency. It discourages people from wanting to take the step of working and helping pitch in for what they get back. I want to incentivize people to continue to work, to have skin in the game, to help pay in something to help cover, so the State doesn't have to drain our budget to help cover their insurance.

Source: Jackson Free Press on 2019 Mississippi Gubernatorial race , Feb 6, 2019

ObamaCare is bad policy, but let's get Mississippi our share

[Under ObamaCare], we do need to draw down those federal [Medicaid] dollars. All the people who work in Mississippi are paying federal taxes--and our dollars are being redistributed around for health care in other states, and we're not getting the benefit here. The people contributing should be receiving what they're helping pay for everybody else to use.

We're sticking our head in the sand because we don't like the policy of ObamaCare. I think it's bad policy. The ACA is bad policy that had a lot of flaws, but it is the law of the land, and Mississippi is going to have to do what's in our best interest until that law is changed in Washington. We would be a lot better off if Washington block-granted money back to the states in education and health care so we can do what we think is best for our state because every state is not the same. What works for us doesn't necessarily work for New York or Texas or Tennessee.

Source: Jackson Free Press on 2019 Mississippi Gubernatorial race , Feb 6, 2019

Expand Medicaid with contribution of monthly fee

Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert Foster said he supports a version of Medicaid expansion where participants would be required to contribute a monthly fee in order to receive coverage. "I do not personally support traditional expansion of Medicaid like they've done in some other states," Foster said. "But what I do support, and what we do have to take into serious consideration, is looking at waivers and an innovative way of bringing health care that is affordable to the working class Mississippians that are left out right now."

Foster said he would support a version of expansion similar to Indiana's, where participants would be required to pay into savings accounts to help cover the bill and lower the state's costs for the program. That could appease central Republican concerns about expansion, which usually revolve around how the state will pay its share of the cost. Some states have also pushed for work requirements for those on Medicaid, a tweak Foster said he would consider.

Source: Mississippi Clarion Ledger on 2019 Mississippi governor race , Jan 8, 2019

Reform our monopolistic Certificate of Need laws

C.O.N. laws were declared to be in violation of the Federal Anti-Trust Act, and were repealed by the Federal government decades ago. Most states have complied and either repealed or reformed most of their C.O.N. laws, yet Mississippi still protects these corporate healthcare monopolies at the expense of its citizens. This is unacceptable in a state that should be doing everything in its power to increase access to healthcare and reduce its unsustainable costs. Free-market principles work--even in healthcare.
Source: 2019 Mississippi governor campaign website Foster4MS.com , Dec 31, 2018

Other governors on Health Care: Robert Foster on other issues:
MS Gubernatorial:
Bill Waller
David Baria-x
Howard Sherman
Jim Hood
Phil Bryant
Tate Reeves
Trent Lott
MS Senatorial:
Chris McDaniel
Cindy Hyde-Smith
David Baria
Jensen Bohren
Mike Espy
Roger Wicker

Gubernatorial Debates 2019:
Bevin(R) vs.Goforth(R,lost primary) vs.Adkins(D,lost primary) vs.Beshear(D) vs.Edelen(D,lost primary)
Edwards(D) vs.Rispone(R) vs.Abraham(R) vs.Kennedy(R,declined)
Bryant(R,retiring) vs.Foster(R) vs.Hood(D) vs.Reeves(R) vs.Waller(R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2021:
Murphy(D) vs.Ciattarelli(R)
Northam(D,term-limited) vs.Herring(D) vs.Chase(R) vs.Fairfax(D)

Gubernatorial Debates 2020:
DE: vs.Carney(incumbent) vs.Williams(D)
IN: vs.Holcomb(incumbent) vs.Melton(D) vs.Myers(D)
MO: Parson(incumbent) vs.Galloway(D) vs.Neely(R)
MT: Bullock(retiring) vs.Fox(R) vs.Perry(R) vs.Gianforte(R) vs.Stapleton(R) vs.Olszewski(R) vs.Neill(D) vs.Schreiner(D) vs.Cooney(D) vs.Williams(D)
NC: Cooper(incumbent) vs.Forest(R) vs.Grange(R)
ND: Burgum(incumbent) vs.Coachman(R) vs.Lenz(D)
NH: Sununu(incumbent) vs.Volinsky(D) vs. fsFeltes(D)
PR: Rossello(D) vs.Garced(D) vs.Pierluisi(D)
UT: Herbert(retiring) vs.Huntsman(R) vs.Cox(R) vs.Burningham(R) vs.Newton(D) vs.Hughes(R)
VT: Scott(incumbent) vs.Holcombe(D) vs.Zuckerman(D)
WA: Inslee(incumbent) vs.Bryant(R) vs.Fortunato(R)
WV: Justice(incumbent) vs.Folk(R) vs.Thrasher(R) vs.Vanover(D) vs.Smith(D) vs.Ron Stollings(D)
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Local Issues
Social Security
Tax Reform


Page last updated: Apr 19, 2020