Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mississippi Democrats seek legislation to tie Medicaid expansion to DSH payment reductions

Well, in a sane world, this would be checkmate.  Mississippi Democrats in the Legislature held a press conference this morning to discuss a letter they sent to Gov. Phil Bryant (R) regarding his concerns over Medicaid expansion, and offering a compromise.

If you will recall, "Dr." Phil Bryant began his opposition to Medicaid expansion by saying that no one was lacking health care in Mississippi.  Then he went on to say that he was against expanding Medicaid because that would just mean that more lazy people are covered, and that they have nothing better to do than go to the doctor.  (I know you think I'm kidding about that, but I'm not.  Go read the link. That's our Governor, my fellow Mississippian.  That's who we elected.)  His latest reason not to expand Medicaid is that we don't know what the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is going to do as far as reducing the DSH payments to hospitals who treat indigent patients.

So legislative Democrats this morning proposed that legislation be passed tying the expansion of Medicaid to the reduction in DSH payments.  If DSH payments aren't cut, Medicaid is not expanded.  If they are, then Medicaid is.  It's a simple approach that protects our hospitals from closing and ruining the economies of many Mississippi towns.  It should be embraced by everyone as a common sense solution.

But it won't be.  After all, our governor thinks if you're not rich like him, you're a no-good, lazy, layabout who doesn't deserve health care in the first place.  Go, Mississippi, keep rolling along....

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