How Medicaid Expansion Denial Connects to Premature Deaths

My family knew we could not afford a doctor when I was young, so we avoided going at all costs. 

Due to financial constraints, my mother delayed seeing a doctor for years despite knowing she had a health problem. 

It was a choice no one should have to make, and it ultimately cost her life. 

Her story is just one example of why every Mississippian must access affordable healthcare without choosing between their health and putting food on the table.

A recent report from the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform has revealed a dire situation in Mississippi’s healthcare system. 

One-third of rural hospitals in the state are at risk of closure within three years, with 25 hospitals at immediate risk and 34 at risk overall. 

Imagine the consequences of not having a nearby hospital in a life-or-death situation. 

The importance of accessible healthcare in emergencies cannot be overstated.

Several hospitals in Mississippi have struggled to stay afloat. 

The Greenwood Leflore Hospital is teetering on the edge, and the North Mississippi Medical Center had to lay off around 100 employees. 

St. Dominic’s Hospital in Jackson closed its entire behavioral health unit, laying off 157 workers, and additional hospitals are planning to end inpatient care.

Failing to expand Medicaid in the state has also had a devastating human cost.

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Mississippi’s Healthcare Crisis: An Urgent Call for Affordable Care

Preventable deaths continue to occur because of the lack of access to essential healthcare services. 

Over the last four years, 540 seniors have prematurely died due to this healthcare gap.

The situation is especially dire in the Mississippi Delta, where the highest rates of foot and leg amputations due to diabetes and hypertension have been reported. 

The only neonatal healthcare unit in the Delta has closed, leaving just one pediatrician for every 4,000 babies in the region.

Despite these alarming statistics, the current administration seems more concerned with political games than addressing the healthcare crisis. 

The proposed solution, which falls short and favors political donors, leaves rural hospitals struggling and imposes an additional burden of a $178 million tax on these already working institutions.

As a candidate for governor, I plan to expand Medicaid from day one and provide healthcare for 220,000 working Mississippians while ensuring that our hospitals remain open. 

Additionally, I will launch a website for Mississippians to compare health insurance and drug prices, set up a drug pricing affordability board, and require transparency from pharmaceutical companies on drug pricing.

The time for change is now. The current political games and indifference to the healthcare crisis cannot continue. 

Access to affordable healthcare should be a fundamental right for all Mississippians, and I am committed to making this a reality when elected as governor. 

No one should have to suffer or make life-and-death decisions due to a lack of affordable healthcare, and the future of Mississippi’s healthcare system depends on new leadership.

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Source: Opinion via Yahoo News

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