Fact Check: Tate Reeves’ Healthcare Hail Mary TV Ad Won’t Cover Up For His Hospital Crisis
Today, Tate Reeves’ flailing campaign released a new desperate TV ad to try to cover up for his hospital crisis that has forced thousands of layoffs, cut critical services, or shut down hospitals altogether.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 11, 2023
Nettleton – Today, Tate Reeves’ flailing campaign released a new desperate TV ad to try to cover up for his hospital crisis that has forced thousands of layoffs, cut critical services, or shut down hospitals altogether.
First, in the TV ad, Reeves falsely says, “Hospital leaders agree these reforms will make a huge difference.” However, the Chief Financial Officer of Winston Medical Center in Louisville called Reeves’ scheme a “slap in the face to most all of the small rural hospitals around the state.” Mississippi Today reported that “experts were stumped by how the Governor’s proposed reforms will work.” In addition, Reeves’ sham plan taxes already struggling hospitals for a total of “178 million in taxes for Mississippi Hospital Access Program payments.”
Second, Reeves’ scheme has been panned for playing politics with hospitals - his plan was announced 47 days before the election and rewards his political allies. According to Supertalk, “Politics is seen as the primary factor in the decision to allocate a lion’s share of the money to certain hospitals over others.” The American Independent reported that “Reeves announced plans to boost Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals by hundreds of millions of dollars, directly benefiting his own donors.” Mississippi Today reported that “nearly half of the money — 45% or about $309 million — will go to hospitals that have left the state hospital association in recent months. In the spring, after the Mississippi Hospital Association’s PAC made a $250,000 donation to Presley, several hospitals left the organization.”
Third, Tate Reeves’ failed healthcare record includes thousands of jobs lost, essential services cut, and hospitals on the brink of closure. A recent report from the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform shows that 34 of Mississippi’s 74 rural hospitals are struggling financially and at risk of closure. Under Tate Reeves’ leadership, Greenwood Leflore has closed several departments and services, including neurosurgery, urology, and inpatient dialysis. Mississippi’s first rural emergency hospital, Alliance Healthcare System, announced they were ending inpatient care in order to try and keep their doors open. St. Dominic’s Hospital in Jackson closed its entire behavioral health unit, laying off 157 workers, and now psychiatric beds are full at nearby hospitals. KPC Promise Hospital in Vicksburg closed last month after struggling financially. North Mississippi Medical Center announced laying off around 100 workers. Last month, four hospitals across the state announced they are planning to end inpatient care, which State Health Officer Dr. Daniel Edney has previously likened to a hospital closure. News about a hospital closing or new layoffs seems to come weekly, and Tate Reeves, when asked about hospitals laying off workers, “chuckled, didn’t substantively respond and brushed off the question.”
Brandon Presley has a plan to keep hospitals open by expanding Medicaid on day one. According to healthcare experts, expanding Medicaid would create thousands of good-paying jobs, keep hospitals open, and provide health insurance to 220,000 working Mississippians. Under Reeves’ sham plan, the state is increasing taxes on struggling hospitals by $170 million for a $700 million net gain, whereas with Medicaid expansion, the state could put up $100 million for a $1 billion reward while extending healthcare to working Mississippi families.
“Nothing Tate Reeves can do or say can cover for the fact that he is the hospital closure governor,” said Tai Sims, Communications Advisor for Presley For Governor. “On Tate Reeves’ failed watch, thousands of healthcare jobs have been lost, essential services from labor and delivery to behavioral health have been cut, hospitals are teetering on closure, and 220,000 working Mississippians are left without healthcare. Mississippians know Tate Reeves doesn’t care about their health - and no election year stunt will allow Reeves to escape that fact.”