Call to Action: COVID Relief for Mississippi Healthcare Crisis

3/15/2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 15, 2021

From our earliest days, United Methodists have believed that providing healthcare to others is an important duty of Christians. John Wesley found ways to offer medical services at no cost to the poor in London. The first Methodist Social Creed (adopted in 1908) urged working conditions to safeguard the health of workers and community. 

The provision of healthcare for all without regard to status or ability to pay is portrayed in the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:24-35) as the duty of every neighbor and thus of every person. 

The United Methodist Church therefore affirms in our Social Principles (¶ 162V) health care as a basic human right, and affirms the duty of government to assure health care for all.

In alignment with our social principles concerning healthcare in the 2016 Book of Resolutions #3201, please read the below information from Working Together Mississippi.


What do the incentives to expand Medicaid included in the Federal COVID Relief Bill do for Mississippi? Healthcare experts estimate that over the next two years Mississippi would receive from the Federal Government somewhere in the range of $690 million to $890 million in cash payments to expand Medicaid. If the state were to accept our hospitals’ offer to self-tax and charge a modest premium to participants, the state would receive an additional $400 million in new revenue beyond the cost of expansion for two years.
 
Simply put, the state would get two years of new revenue. The estimates of total new revenue generated by the Federal incentive payments and a self-tax, small-premium expansion program range from $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion. Again, this revenue is NEW money after the cost of paying for expanded coverage is met.

In effect, Mississippi is being offered a plan that does the following:

  • Covers at least 200,000 currently uninsured Mississippians, and gives them access to cost-efficient preventive care
  • Reduces the current $660 million annual cost of uncompensated care to our hospitals by 40 to 50 percent
  • Saves 22 financially struggling hospitals
  • Creates 19,000 new jobs
  • Generates $600 million in new economic activity annually
  • Produces $200 million of new revenue each year beyond the two years of Federal incentive contributions
  • Helps Mississippi deal with the severe human and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has long term implications

This is one of the largest long-term economic investments the state of Mississippi will have ever made. It produces more jobs than the tax incentive programs that attracted Toyota, Nissan and other large employers. In those deals, the state gave money to produce new jobs. In this Federal incentive program, we are being offered payments to increase access to quality healthcare and produce jobs for our residents.

Opponents say Mississippi cannot afford to expand healthcare access. Working Together Mississippi says we cannot afford to NOT expand! We must act now.

The legislature killed the Medicaid Tech Bill/Senate Bill 2799 that could have been the vehicle for expanding Medicaid. Unless this bill is revived, Medicaid will be controlled by the governor’s office, which means there is little chance to get Medicaid Expansion.

Call or email Lieutenant Governor Hosemann, Speaker Gunn and your legislators to urge them to revive the Medicaid Tech/Senate Bill 2799! GET SB 2799 BACK INTO CONFERENCE!!!

Speaker Gunn: 601.359.3300 

Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann: 601.359.3200 or email ltgov@senate.ms.gov
Use this link to obtain contact information for legislators: www.openstates.org

For more information, contact Perry Perkins at pcperkins@gmail.com or call 504.442.0714.

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