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Is Philip Gunn the only hope to stop Obamacare?
Over the weekend, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves posted via social media that he now supports partial Medicaid expansion. Tate ran for Governor in 2019 campaigning against Medicaid expansion, and for good reason, but it now seems like he’s flipped on that stance.
Based on an article by the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, Medicaid patients are 97 percent more likely to die than patients with private insurance and 13 percent more likely to die than patients with NO health insurance at all.
But you’ve heard that Medicaid expansion will save our rural hospitals, right? Well, the same article by MCPP quotes the health economist Chris Conover indicating that "Every new Medicaid-related job actually costs the economy at least 3 to 4 jobs elsewhere." Not only does it cost the economy as a whole, but Medicaid also only covers, on average, 80% of what private insurance pays. Therefore, hospitals must increase the costs on private patients, to cover the costs of Medicaid patient’s care.
And if a hospital doesn’t have enough private insurance patients to keep the doors open to begin with, they certainly won’t have enough private insurance patients to cover even greater losses from an increase in Medicaid patients. Further, the state will be on the hook for 10% of the increased cost, meaning our dream of being an income tax-free state is never likely going to happen with an expansion in Medicaid.
Still, despite all the data and evidence to show that Medicaid expansion is a bad deal for Mississippians, as it has been for every other state that’s passed it, that hasn’t stopped Delbert Hosemann from passing a Medicaid expansion bill out of the Senate every year since he’s been Lt. Governor and now Tate Reeves is bailing on his own campaign promises by supporting a partial expansion.
Tate said in his post that “We may even have to be willing to do things that make us ‘philosophically uncomfortable.’”
His move shouldn’t just make you “philosophically uncomfortable”, but outright furious if you are a Republican that actually believes in our party platform. Our own MS GOP platform says, regarding healthcare, that Mississippi Republicans believe:
“the expansion of some government health care programs is unaffordable to current and future taxpayers… We believe our health care system can be improved by moving away from the current bureaucracy-driven, heavily regulated third-party payment system to a new patient-centered system of consumer choice. We can have an affordable, accessible and quality health care system by empowering individuals and families, promoting free-market competition and embracing the benefits of technology, innovation and a fair legal climate. Increased freedom within our health care system must be accompanied by individual responsibility.”
Nothing about Medicaid expansion fits into our party’s platform of stopping the expansion of government healthcare programs, supporting free-markets, and having greater individual responsibility, but it seems that even the leader of our state party, Tate Reeves, has cast our party platform to the side for politically motivated reasons during an election year, not letting something like principles get in the way.
It is also interesting to note that a poll from a few years ago indicates that 70 percent of Mississippi Republicans would be less likely to support a candidate who voted for Medicaid expansion.
So, it begs the question: If Tate’s not supporting Medicaid expansion to appeal to Republicans, who is he trying to appeal to this election year?
We need your help.
Tell Speaker Gunn to stand against any attempt to expand Obamacare in Mississippi.
You may also call 601-345-1211 and leave a message for Speaker Gunn.