When the new wave of Covid hit, Mississippi was particularly ill-prepared

Those interested in improving health care in the state have long faced daunting obstacles. A succession of conservative governors have d...


Those interested in improving health care in the state have long faced daunting obstacles. A succession of conservative governors have denounced the cost of Medicaid, which is shared by the federal and state governments. Former Gov. Haley Barbour, a Republican who served from 2004 to 2012, supported significant cuts to the program, including a division plan, finally blocked by a judge, to remove 65,000 elderly and disabled people from Medicaid lists. He also suggested that people play with the system.

“Forgive me if I think people who have two or three jobs to pay for health care for their families shouldn’t be forced to pay for health care from people who can work, but choose not to.” he said in 2011.

Mr Barbour’s successor Phil Bryant torpedoed a state health insurance swap that was supposed to be a component of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Mr Bryant said at the time that he did not want to support Obamacare, as the law is known, because he feared it would burden the state with oppressive Medicaid-related debts.

Mr. Reeves and the Mississippi legislature – like the legislatures of a dozen states with Republican-controlled state houses – continue to oppose the expansion of Medicaid, despite renewed pressure for it. program from state health care advocates who insist program money could have helped Mississippi weather the pandemic better.

Mississippi hospitals even came up with a plan that would cover the state government’s share of costs with a tax on the hospitals themselves and small monthly bonuses for those who enroll.

In Hattiesburg, Phyllis Chambers-Berry, chief nurse at Forrest General Hospital, said she believed the expansion of Medicaid before the pandemic would have left her hospital in a stronger position to deal with the Delta variant. Now, with her hospital’s 50 intensive care beds full, she said she hoped the state would send 26 contract workers who would allow the hospital to open 10 more beds.

These workers would be only a fraction of what Forrest General really needs. The hospital has 240 nursing jobs that are unfilled, said Dr Chambers-Berry. Of those who remain, she said, “I could tell you from the expression on their faces – they are exhausted.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: When the new wave of Covid hit, Mississippi was particularly ill-prepared
When the new wave of Covid hit, Mississippi was particularly ill-prepared
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