Forrest Health is expecting a $2.5 million loss in its FY 2014 budget. Those aren't numbers to take lightly. They are already losing nearly $4 million in support payments made by the federal government to treat low-income persons. The Chief Financial Officer of the Forrest General Hospital hoped for Medicaid expansion to occur, but we know that did not happen.
|Rep. Toby Barker (R-Hattiesburg)|
|Sen. Billy Hudson (R-Hattiesburg)|
Hudson understands the economic and human impact the Forrest Health System has on the Pine Belt region. Barker, on the other hand, seems more interested in following the tea party leadership of Speaker Gunn. While Barker is falling in line, one of his district's largest employers is pleading for assistance in staying afloat.
Sadly, the cases in Hancock and Forrest Counties are just the beginning. As more hospitals look at their balance sheets in the coming years, there will likely be more of them sounding the alarm that the Legislature needs to revisit its misguided approach to expanded access to Medicaid.