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Yesterday Mayor Wharton announced an initiative to work with churches to have people sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.  This mirrors something I’d already decided I’d like to do as county mayor, based on a suggestion by County Commission candidate (and Commercial Appeal columnist)  Dr. Manoj Jain: (1) to use Health Department staff to help people sign up for such health insurance, partnering with local hospitals.

While we’re at it, I’d also like to (2)  use Community Services staff to help people file for the Earned Income Tax Credit, partnering with a similar United Way campaign, and with law/law school pro bono tax assistance efforts like “VITA.”  We leave up to $70 million in federal assistance on the table in Shelby County because eligible folks don’t know about the EITC, a pro-work, antipoverty program started by Ronald Reagan.  Think what that could do for our economy!