Number two, an important part of this bill is increasing payments under Medicaid to primary care physicians. We're going to create more primary care physicians. And in this bill, were' also empowering nurses. A certified nurse practitioner can do a lot of things that a primary care physician can do.
So the phase-in was very important here. There are some thing that happen right away, some benefits. No kids can get denied for pre-existing conditions as of September.
I don't know if you read about the little kid outside of Dallas who was born with a defect and the insurance company denied coverage because
he had a pre-existing condition. That stuff is over.
Kids who are 26 years of age or younger living at home, like a lot of our kids are who can't get jobs -- they're going to get coverage.
High-risk pools -- I've got 140,000 Pennsylvanians who can't get coverage now because they're seriously ill. They'll go into immediate high-risk pools.
So there's a phase-in for some things, but the things that are really important in insurance reform happen very quickly.
TAPPER: Governor Barbour, I don't want to pick on Mississippi, but I should point out that studies indicate Mississippi is last in the nation when it comes to health care, when it comes to access, quality, costs and outcomes.
Your state ranks worst in the country for obesity, hypertension, diabetes, adult physical inactivity, low weight birth babies. It has one of the highest rates of infant mortality.
You've been governor for six years. I'm wondering, what's your response to critics who say that this is probably -- this lawsuit is probably not the best use of your time when it comes to health care for your citizens?
BARBOUR: Well, the fact, my state has about the same percentage of people who are covered by health insurance as the nation as a whole, so the issues that you talked about are not the result of lack of health insurance. In fact, Ed mentioned some very important good things. That
is, allowing children to stay on their parents' insurance until they are
26. BlueCross/BlueShield, which writes most of the health insurance in my state, already does that. They are now -- two years ago, they were not going to disqualify people from buying the health insurance because of preexisting illnesses. They already do that. We already have a high-cost or high-risk insurance pool in our state. So the problem here
is some people think nothing matters unless the federal government requires it by law.
Now, a lot of states, like my state, have made real progress here. Our friends at Utah in two years have more than 40,000 people on the health insurance exchange. The president wants us and demands in this policy -- in this law, that we all have health insurance exchanges. We were in the process of putting one together in Mississippi, except now we won't be able to do it like Utah. We're going to have to do it more like Massachusetts, because the federal government says you not only have to have one, you've got to do it the federal government's way. We don't believe that's right for every state.
TAPPER: Governor Rendell, you saw the numbers that I cited to Valerie Jarrett, 50 percent of the American people oppose this bill; 46 percent support it, in today's Washington Post. The latest Franklin and