Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Madison businessman Tim Johnson, who is the Democrat nominee for lieutenant governor, spoke to Panola Countians during a campaign stop at the Batesville courthouse Tuesday. The Panolian photo by Rita Howell

Lt. gov. candidate wants expansion of Medicaid

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

By Rita Howell

Democratic lieutenant governor nominee Tim Johnson of Madison visited with voters at the Panola County Courthouse in Batesville Tuesday during an eight-day tour in which he planned to stop in 41 towns.

About a dozen people came to meet the candidate, listening to a brief talk in which he described the three planks in his platform: expand Medicaid, improve the state’s roads, and fully fund education.

Johnson, a former Madison alderman, state senator and Madison County supervisor, told the group he had switched political parties, from Republican to Democrat, after the state’s Republican leaders failed to support Medicaid expansion.

“Our leaders turned their backs on billions of dollars that could flow into this state,” he said.

He cited a personal situation that motivated him to support accepting federal dollars to provide health care for more Mississippians.

Because she had access to health care when she suffered a stroke, his 90-year-old mother in his native Kosciusko recovered, he said, to celebrate her 91st birthday.

“She’s still here,” he said.

He blamed Republicans for keeping 300,000 Mississippians from receiving health care.

“They’re putting party politics over people, over my mama,” he said.

Expanding Medicaid in Mississippi could help grow the economy by providing 20,000 jobs related to the health care field, he said.

“That’s three Nissan plants.” 

Johnson, 55, an insurance and real estate agent who is also a noted Elvis impersonator, said he is challenging Tate Reeves, the Republican incumbent lieutenant governor, to a series of debates.