Mississippi hospitals behind governor's Medicaid proposals also withdrew from MHA

Several hospitals either withdrew their membership of the Mississippi Hospital Association earlier this year or communicated their desire to.

Those same hospitals and their leadership were lined up behind Gov. Tate Reeves when he announced sweeping Medicaid reforms Sept. 21 that could eventually benefit hospitals by almost $700 million.

The MHA withdrawals this year came on the heels of a $250,000 donation by the MHA's political action committee to Mr. Reeves' Democratic rival for the governorship, Brandon Presley. The MHA also gave $100,000 to current Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, a Republican.

At least seven hospitals and healthcare systems have supported the governor's proposals, an alternative to Medicaid expansion, which Mr. Reeves has consistently rejected as a solution to the state's healthcare challenges. Six of those also withdrew or threatened to withdraw from the MHA.

Tim Moore, MHA president, told Becker's ahead of the governor's announcement that the organization continues to work with the various hospitals to once again be "engaged with the association."

Mr. Reeves denied that the new proposals with backing from the MHA-withdrawing hospitals was politically expedient.

"I am going to get criticized no matter what I do," he said. "This is governing, bringing people together to find solutions."

The governor's refusal to even discuss Medicaid expansion has been criticized by many, including the MHA. Large majorities of the state's residents have shown their support for Medicaid expansion.

"His position has always been against Obamacare from the start," Mr. Moore said. "Why would he not allow working Mississipians without health insurance to get such coverage?"

Mr. Reeves and Mr. Presley will face off in November to see who becomes governor for the next term.

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