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Bryant: Miss. needs to pursue health care jobs

Associated Press/Clarion Ledger | August 15, 2013

Mississippi needs to pursue private investment in health care businesses to promote job creation and improve the quality of life, Republican Gov. Phil Bryant told an audience of about 700 people Thursday at a state chamber of commerce event. The state has long been one of the poorest in the nation, and it has some of the highest rates of obesity, heart disease and other health problems. Bryant said officials are working to create "medical corridors" by offering incentives to pharmaceutical firms, medical equipment manufacturers and other types of companies.

Outside the governor's meeting Thursday, Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran, a Democrat, said expanding Medicaid would help the state attract jobs because it would help create healthier workers. She also said the extra federal money from Medicaid expansion could help hospitals avoid job cuts.

"We will be losing health care jobs as well as general health care and quality of life for all of our citizens," Moran said. "If we had accepted the federal funding, we would've created 9,000 new health care jobs in this state, in addition to retaining what we have."

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