Brandon Presley In The Clarion Ledger: Tate Reeves’ Failure To Expand Medicaid Has Caused Premature Deaths
47 Days Before the Election, Reeves Announces Sham Political Stunt Rewarding His Donors While Continuing To Leave 220,000 Working Mississippians Without Healthcare And 25 Hospitals at Risk of Immediate Closure
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 17, 2023
Nettleton - In an op-ed in the Clarion Ledger, Brandon Presley highlights that Tate Reeves’ failure to expand Medicaid over the last four years has resulted in the premature deaths of Mississippians across the state.
According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities as cited by Mississippi Today, failing to expand Medicaid has caused the premature deaths of 540 seniors over the last four years. And, a recent report from the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform showed that one-third of Mississippi’s rural hospitals are at risk of closure within 3 years, with 25 hospitals at risk of immediate closure and 34 hospitals at risk of closure overall.
While Tate Reeves is running to cover up his failed healthcare record, Brandon Presley has a plan to expand Medicaid on day one - which will provide healthcare to 220,000 working Mississippians, keep rural hospitals open, and create thousands of good-paying jobs.
Read Brandon’s op-ed here:
Growing up, my family knew we couldn’t afford a doctor, and so we avoided going at all costs.
My mama knew she was facing a health problem for years but put off seeing a doctor because she couldn’t afford it.
My sister and I had to force her to go to the doctor, and we were lucky enough to have her for one more year after that. But putting off getting healthcare caught up to her, and she passed away too soon from congestive heart failure.
My mama’s story is just one of the reasons I believe that every Mississippian must have access to affordable healthcare, and that nobody should have to choose between life-saving healthcare or putting food on the table.
A recent report from the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform showed that one-third of Mississippi’s rural hospitals are at risk of closure within 3 years, with 25 hospitals at risk of immediate closure and 34 hospitals at risk of closure overall.
Think about what that would mean in a life-or-death situation, that you couldn’t go to the nearby hospital and instead have to travel an hour to get the healthcare you need. In an emergency, timing is everything.
We have all heard of the hospitals around our state that have struggled this year.
The Greenwood Leflore Hospital is being kept afloat on a line of credit and is hanging on by a thread year-by-year. North Mississippi Medical Center announced around 100 people were laid off.
St. Dominic’s Hospital in Jackson closed its entire behavioral health unit, laying off 157 workers, while psychiatric beds at nearby hospitals fill up. Four additional hospitals announced plans to end inpatient care, which State Health Officer Dr. Dan Edney equates to a hospital closure because key services are lost when communities lose access to inpatient care.
Tate Reeves calls himself pro-life, but there’s a human cost to failing our healthcare system like this. On his watch, hundreds of babies and mothers in our state die every year because women can’t get critical healthcare like preventative cancer screenings or treatment for mothers having complications when having children.
Failing to expand Medicaid has caused the premature deaths of 540 seniors over the last four years, according to the national nonprofit Center for Budget and Policy Priorities as cited by Mississippi Today.
The Mississippi Delta reports the nation's highest rate of foot and leg amputations due to diabetes or hypertension, according to a New York Times report and a Propublica report. The only neonatal healthcare unit in the Delta is now closed — leaving one pediatrician for every 4,000 babies in the region.
These are numbers that ought to wake up Tate Reeves — but since it doesn’t affect him, he doesn’t care.
Instead, 47 days before the election when he realizes this could be an obstacle to his reelection, Reeves cooked up a sham political stunt that rewards his biggest donors first, short-changes rural hospitals and does nothing to fix the fact that 220,000 working Mississippians are uninsured. And on top of all of that, hospitals will have to pay a $178 million tax while many of them struggle to stay open.
Now I’ve got a plan to expand Medicaid on day one as governor, and I am ready to get 220,000 working Mississippians healthcare and keep our hospitals open. But that’s not all.
As governor, I’ll launch a website that lets Mississippians compare health insurance and drug prices so that folks like you and me can compare prescription drugs at different pharmacies and choose the lowest price. I’ll issue executive orders that set up a drug pricing affordability board and require mandatory reporting from pharmaceutical companies about drug prices. These are some steps to making a healthcare system for all Mississippians.
The only reason Reeves hasn’t expanded Medicaid is because of cheap, petty, partisan politics. And that’s true — but he doesn’t have to worry about his hospital closing. He’ll always have a hospital nearby — he doesn’t care about the hospital in your community and could care less if they shutter their doors.
Reeves thinks that we should get used to emergency rooms being far away from our communities and our kids not being able to afford to see a doctor, and it should be business as usual for a hospital to cut essential services or close down altogether. That will change when I’m governor because to me, nothing is more important than the health of you and your family. Reeves has played games with your health for too long — and that ends with new leadership on Nov. 7.