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Gov. Bryant Announces New Healthcare Zones

By Jeffrey Hess | Mississippi Public Broadcast | August 15, 2013

bryant-health-care-summitTwelve Mississippi communities are now being recognized as health care zones. The designation clears the way for tax credits for businesses opening shop in those areas. Governor Phil Bryant believes the zones will help during health care into an economic engine. Governor Bryant announced the 12 communities that will have certified health care zone master plans at a health care and economic development summit in Jackson yesterday. Bryant says businesses that promise to invest $10 million or create 25 jobs will be able to draw down special tax incentives for everything from housing to labs to research facilities.

But some at the conference say Bryant is missing the biggest health care opportunity by opposing Medicaid expansion. Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran, a democrat, says expanding Medicaid to cover 300,000 additional Mississippians would add one billion federal dollars a year to the state economy.

"We have already lost 200 jobs over the past two years through attrition and lay offs. This will continue to decline until things are restructured or we find an avenue for more funding. This could have been that funding. This will continue to stabilize the current jobs we have and create 9,000 new health care jobs," Moran said.

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