Chip in to protect our blue firewall!

If we want to stop the Republicans' dangerous agenda, defend reproductive rights, and protect our democracy, we have to keep pace with the GOP's millions in fundraising. Please don’t wait: rush your gift to elect Dem govs >>

Mississippi Hospital CEO: “We don’t understand why Tate Reeves doesn’t understand why he needs a healthy workforce”

Latest News

Mississippi Hospital CEO: “We don’t understand why Tate Reeves doesn’t understand why he needs a healthy workforce”

“Dr. Brett Zepponi… considers himself a fiscal conservative, but he’s currently planning to vote for Presley because he doesn’t think the Greenville hospital can last much longer without expanding Medicaid coverage.”

Yesterday, on the heels of news that one Mississippi hospital is closing its doors and another is laying off staff due to financial pressures driven by Gov. Tate Reeves’ refusal to expand Medicaid in the state, hospital and health care professionals in the Delta slammed Reeves for his mounting hospital crisis, with Delta Health CEO Iris Stacker saying, “We don’t understand why Tate Reeves doesn’t understand why he needs a healthy workforce.”

Just since May, at least five hospital systems around the state have cut jobs or been forced to close their doors entirely amid Reeves’ continued inaction. Asked about the increasingly dire situation, “The governor’s office and his campaign did not respond to a request for comment.”

Read more about how Mississippi health care professionals are calling out Reeves’ failure:

  • Hours after yet another Mississippi hospital announced it was laying off workers this year, the leader of a hospital in the Mississippi Delta criticized Republican Gov. Tate Reeves for refusing to expand Medicaid access to the working poor.
  • Iris Stacker, the CEO of Delta Health Systems in Greenville, spoke at a Tuesday campaign event for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brandon Presley and said if the federal program covered more people, then the local economy would be more robust.
  • “We don’t understand why Tate Reeves doesn’t understand why he needs a healthy workforce,” Stacker said.
  • Hospitals across the state have recently slashed their staff, discontinued medical services or closed their doors permanently because of financial pressures within their organizations.
  • One of the primary reasons Stacker and other hospital leaders support Medicaid expansion is their belief that it would reduce the amount of uncompensated care that medical workers provide to patients without health insurance.
  • The 40 other U.S. states that have expanded Medicaid have seen a significant drop in uncompensated care costs post-expansion. Louisiana, which expanded Medicaid in 2016, saw a 55% decrease in uncompensated care costs for rural hospitals.
  • The governor’s office and his campaign did not respond to a request for comment, but he has repeatedly objected to the program’s expansion, derisively calling it “welfare” or labeling it “Obamacare.” Instead, Reeves believes a law requiring medical facilities to seek approval from a state agency before they create a new health care center should be eliminated.
  • Mississippi is one of 10 states that has not passed any form of Medicaid expansion. Economic experts say the remaining states, many in the Deep South, would experience an economic boon if officials expanded the program. Studies show that Mississippi is leaving more than $1 billion in new health care related revenue on the table every year it does not expand.
  • Dr. Brett Zepponi, a Delta Health physician, told Mississippi Today that he considers himself a fiscal conservative, but he’s currently planning to vote for Presley because he doesn’t think the Greenville hospital can last much longer without expanding Medicaid coverage.
  • “For me, it doesn’t come down to a political thing,” Zepponi said. “But it’s more of a people thing. I think Republicans and Democrats both want their family to be taken care of and want their neighbors taken care of.”

###