Monday, November 16, 2015

Health Care on the Brink

A recent report shows the dire financial situation facing Mississippi's rural hospitals. The report reiterates what has been known for years: hospitals are struggling financially while patients are in danger of and are actually going without medical care.

Some of the hospitals in jeopardy reside in districts represented by some of the worst offenders when it comes to health care in the state:
  • Highland Community Hospital, represented by Rep. Mark Formby (R-Picayune)
  • Tippah County Hospital, represented by Rep. Judas Steverson (R-Ripley)
  • Baptist Medical Center Attalta, formerly Montfort Jones Community Hospital, represented by Rep. Jason White (R-West)
  • Natchez Regional Medical Center, ironically represented by Public Health Committee Chairman Sam Mims (R-McComb)
This report was released as news broke that the Pioneer Community Hospital in Newton, represented by Reps. Randy Rushing (R-Decatur) and William Shirley (R-Quitman), will be closing their doors - forcing their patients to drive to other counties to seek medical care. Imagine having to drive to another county if you are having a heart attack or delivering a baby! 

For years, Reps. Formby, Steverson, White, Mims, Rushing, and Shirley and the Republican Party have stood in the way of ensuring that hospitals have patients who are able to afford medical care. This shameful behavior is disgraceful, and their stubbornness is costing lives. Once the new legislature is seated in January, we must hope that our legislators will be more concerned about the well-being of their constituents who need health care than being concerned about where a lobbyist will buy them pink-colored drinks and expensive dinners. If history is our guide, we should not get our hopes up. 


George F. said...

I had a good laugh at Rep. "Judas" Steverson. The media is also culpable in the average citizen's ignorance regarding what is actually happening (i.e. How the state not accepting Medicaid expansion). WTVA featured this very report recently and failed to mention Mississippi's refusal to accept the expansion as a significant factor.

Anonymous said...

Until Medicaid is expanded in the state, it will only get worse. What votes apparently don't realize is that the funding has already been approved and if the state of Mississippi turns it down (which it is doing) it will go to another state. Those without insurance who are served in emergency rooms don't have any money so those who do have insurance are paying for them. Mississippi moderate and lower income folk vote against their best interests repeatedly.,,it's actually amazing.

Unknown said...

It's incredibly stupid not to accept the billions in Medicaid money; the cost to the state is NOTHING when you take into account the increased taxes for profit health systems will pay and simply the overall economic impact of hospitals and doctors getting paid for what they are doing now for NOTHING. AND guess what...we end up with a healthier Mississippi population that saves millions long term in healthcare costs. Several Republican governors have figured this out. Leadership, please throw out the partisan playbook and do what is best for Mississippi!