Saturday, May 6, 2017

Bill Crawford: Who cares about health care?

"Mississippi finishes last – again – among all states in annual health ranking," read the December headline in the Biloxi Sun-Herald. "Mississippi dropped to dead last this year among all 50 states in the annual 'America’s Health Rankings' released by the United Health Foundation," continued the story. "As one of the nation’s poorest states, Mississippi has a legacy of poor health because poverty is often a driver, and consequence, of bad health."

How did our state leaders respond to this finding? Here are the latest stories:

"Mental Health to lay off 650 workers by June 30, 2018," read the Mississippi Today headline. "The Department of Mental Health announced plans this week to eliminate 146 jobs at two state facilities as the agency struggles to close a $19.7 million budget gap in 2018," the story said. "These cuts are the first wave in a total of 650 layoffs the agency said it will need to make by June 30, 2018. Central Mississippi Residential Center in Newton and East Mississippi State Hospital in Meridian will cut 52 positions and 74 positions, respectively. In addition, Central Mississippi will close its Footprints Adult Day Services program and its crisis stabilization unit while East Mississippi plans to consolidate its adolescent psychiatric services program with one at Mississippi State Hospital in Whitfield."

"Health Department looking to streamline," read the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal headline. "Public Health districts will be reduced from nine to three to deal with budget cuts, state Health Officer Mary Currier explains in a YouTube video," the story read. "The Health Department was budgeted $36 million in the 2016 session, which already represented a cut of about $4 million. But in reality, as a result of mid-year budget cuts Gov. Phil Bryant made because revenue collections were not meeting projections, the Health Department will receive $31 million for the current fiscal year instead of the $36 million approved by the 2016 Legislature."

"UMC cuts 195 jobs, eliminates 85 positions in budget cut," read the Mississippi Business Journal headline. "The University of Mississippi Medical Center today announced it is cutting 195 jobs and eliminating another 85 positions in action to address a recent $32.7 million budget cut, part of budget cuts ordered by Gov. Phil Bryant," the story read.

"Lawmaker: State budget 'robbing Peter to pay Paul'," read the Clarion-Ledger headline, quoting House Appropriations Chairman John Read. "Medicaid: Keep level at about $919 million but only $60 million of its reported $90 million deficit is being funded for the current year," the story said.

Well, it certainly appears health care in the unhealthiest state is not much of a state priority.

Add to this the crisis overwhelming rural hospitals and the picture looks even worse. Sid Salter recently quoted Andy Taggart on this. Taggart helped conduct in-depth research on Mississippi's rural, government-owned hospitals:

“Unless fundamentally reorganized from the ground-up and combined with a larger sustainable delivery system, we believe that the vast majority of these hospitals and their associated health care services will ultimately become financially unsustainable and unable to meet an acceptable standard of care."

Stay healthy, my friends.

Crawford is a syndicated columnist from Meridian (


Anonymous said...

How can this be when Obamacare was law of the land?!??1!

Anonymous said...

Has nothing to do with Obamacare you ignorant goon.

Anonymous said...

Has everything to do with Obamacare (problems) and nothing to do with Obamacare (solving the problems).

What makes MS last in health is not healthcare. It's personal responsibility for one's own health.

I have no problems helping the poor who can't afford health insurance and are stricken by cancer/accident/etc but as long as people like Mr. Crawford treat government as a catch-all safety net that gets higher and higher, personal responsibility will continue to erode.

Anonymous said...

9:56 am Try to pay attention. Mississippi didn't buy into Obamacare, remember?

It was more important to keep people from signing up and protecting BCBS than it was to improve the health of citizens.

And, I feel certain we will opt out of pre-existing conditions and seize every other opportunity to " opt out" of whatever we can because we won't be able to afford not to do so.

And, if y'all think a State with the lowest health ranking and a small population is going to have health insurance companies beating down the door to offer us competitive rates, you are sadly mistaken. BCBS of Mississippi's executives are surely salivating in anticipation of how high they can continue to raise deductibles and premiums.

By the way, doctors how did tort reform work for you in reducing costs?

More sick babies from less prenatal care, more unwed pregnancies from no birth control coverage or education should put us solidly in 3rd world status.

Here's a common sense hint for you...if people are healthy and get good basic health care , they are less likely to get sick and so costs go down.

Why do you think in the " good old days" that rich, educated folks had lower premiums and that companies like GE that hired mostly well educated, and highly skilled people got lower rates than oh...a textile company ?

You might not believe in statistical data, but the health industry does! Actuarial tables are the basis of their decision making!

It's the health insurance industry and pharma that wrote the " poison pill" language in Obamacare or else it wouldn't have passed and Trumpcare is their wet dream! They did not want to compete nationally but wanted in state competition and a guarantee of " pulling out".

Did you not pay attention to who the House members listened to for advice in writing their bill? See if you can find tapes and listen to their own words. More than a few of the members were dumb enough to admit they relied on information provided by health insurance executives...not the doctors, not the National Institute of Health, not the executives. Do you actually believe they got unbiased information?

Like those House members , you are apparently gullible to propaganda. You don't look at bias of your sources or reliability. Obamacare was always badly flawed and political BS moves made sure it'd be even less successful. Trumpcare is worse but I'm quite certain the health insurance industry has enough money to make sure you won't think so and those we elect won't want to think so as they pocket campaign money...remember I warned you!

Maybe we'd all do better if we demanded a new Constitutional Amendment requiring that those who make laws are not exempted from the laws they make! We could refuse to elect any one that didn't pledge to support that just like some of you did for " new new taxes" ( and enriched Norquist in the process ).

Anonymous said...

Mabel: Fred, things sure are bad.

Fred: Yes Mabel, yes they are and that is because we didn't listen to the warnings of that anonymous windbag at

Anonymous said...

So, the law of the land, Obamacare, is that you have to buy insurance or else. And even though everybody has to buy insurance,, we are still unhealthy? And you are calling 9:56 names?

Anonymous said...

MS has had a poor healthcare industry long before Obamacare came along. Most established Doctors simply don't give a hoot. In many cases, a Nurse Practitioner will give you better care than a G.P.

I like the expansion that Baptist did with it's clinic system and the fast pass system. From my experience, they are the exception.

Anonymous said...

Great question. "Who cares about healthcare"? I know who doesn't and is name is Gregg Harper. That's Gregg with three G's.

Anonymous said...

Poverty isn't the reason we are last, it's called FAT!

Anonymous said...

Trumpcare will be 100 times worse than Obamacare. Anyone past their 40s will be in danger of losing their job when their employer cannot pay the 500% premium increase. We will end up with more people uninsured than we had before Obamacare.

Anonymous said...

The only sympathy I have for this tragedy, and make no mistake that is what it is, is the poor folks who will be impacted who didn't vote for the idiots doing this. For every "oppressed white man" or "Trump's for me" imbecile that voted for any Republican that's about to get royally F'ed, good. As you watch your family member, friend, or yourself go bankrupt or die due to this, remember, you worked and voted for this. This is freedom, baby. The way Somalia defines it anyway. A real civilization would have instituted basic health care for its citizenry decades ago. Instead, we get whores obeying their pimps. This country is so screwed. And we are only 4 months into total Republican hegemonic control. Imagine another 1.75 or 3.75 or 7.75 years. Kansas, LA, and now MS are great examples of what happens when that happens.

Anonymous said...

poorest state, means less revenue for the state, why is so hard to grasp? solutions involve businesses opening and hiring in MS, a trip to wally world convinces any sane corporation to run away.

Anonymous said...

Same tired whiners whining the same tired whines.

Anonymous said...

This Just In: Doctors are not responsible for your health care. Or for mine. Neither are nurse practitioners or columnists or people in the northeast who publish lists.

You are responsible for being fat. Nobody else but YOU. Look at the grocery carts full of pork chops and other lard based foods. Is the doctor going to save us from that? Doubtful. The man in the white, knee-length smock in the meat market is not a doctor and he has no stethoscope. He's selling lard.

Anonymous said...

6:15 am Skinny people and vegans and even athletes people get cancer, get contagious diseases, get infections, get exposed to toxic materials like asbestos, get injured , and inherit genetic defects . And, not all fat people die young. I can introduce you to overweight 80 year olds and take you to the graves of skinny people. I can show you grave stones in the original colonies of people who lived into their 90s.

I hope you are being sarcastic, but it's hard to know since I've met people who think they are superior to others just by the comparing exteriors.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

C'mon, just like Haley you'll never see Crawford self-disclosing his conflicts.

Anonymous said...

5:27-- we are FAT because POVERTY. Surely you jest.......

Anonymous said...

People are fat because sugar and flour and pork and grease and salt are cheaper than fruits and vegetables and gym club memberships and fitness trainers and having time t cook from scratch with healthy ingredients?


Anonymous said...

Fatty processed unhealthy foods loaded with sodium are cheaper than "Whole Foods". I'm not fat.

Also, it's hot as hell during the summer NOT TO MENTION that people are scared to walk down their own streets for a variety of reasons. No one works "the fields" like in the past. Furthermore, you're automatically suspect in NIKNAR for walking down the road. Ridgeland is like the only place I can think of where walking and biking are encouraged by the local government 365/24/7

Also, impoverished people have to make due with what's available. It's called survival. Hence soul food, Cajun/Creole, etc etc.

The over abundance of butter and grease aren't helping either--- but that's what most people down here know how to cook. This "problem" is many many decades in the making and it's not going away overnight.
It's the same with corruption, local political apathy, relying on prayer and faith to get through tough situations, good ole boys etc etc.
These "systems" were devoloped for reasons. Life down here has never been a walk in the park. Apparently suing large corporations to pay for things has been a way of life for quite some time too.

Getting a lottery passed here is like banging ones head on a brick wall. They don't want
to change what they're accustomed to. Most Mississippians simply don't know any other way, nor do they want to.

Kingfish said...

Excellent comment. Lawwwwd, that made me go jiggy, jiggy.

Anonymous said...

7:31; I hope your post stems from simple ignorance rather than willingly dodging the issues.

If you subtract from our midst all the skinny, young, athletic people and those who lived into their 90s, only to wake up dead, you will still find a super-abundance of fat, unhealthy people, more apparently than in any other state if we are to believe people who track this sort of thing.

We are in the obese, unhealthy column because of our demographics and because of the way a certain demographic finds sustenance. People all across the country live to be 90 and yes, marathon runners drop dead at age 30. That won't remove the fact that this is a fat, unhealthy state.

Genetics, asbestos and colonial gravestones aside, this state is fat for reasons of our own making, not because you want to blame our position on asbestos, cancer, contagion and infection.

People like you wallow in the imaginary. Sodium, carb and fat loaded foods fill shopping carts in every store in this state and it ain't about to change. We have generational repetition in dietary habits and Michelle's cantaloupe and celery school lunch program will have zero affect. When you blindly look at a problem you immediately see the federal money-tree and hope the gubment will send us more doctors and more transportation and more programs.

Connect the dots for yourself. SNAP, EBT, disability, blue marked parking spaces, motorized carts so people can get to the cookie and pork chop aisles and people at work demanding to sit on a stool. There's our reality.

Anonymous said...

"Also, impoverished people have to make due with what's available. It's called survival. Hence soul food, Cajun/Creole, etc etc."

Holy shit! Have you been in a grocery store in the last forty years or so? These people, impoverished as they may be, have tokens, cards and stamps to buy whatever the hell they want to buy in a store and have for at least five generations. It's not called survival at all. It's called stupidity and greed. They are flat out OWED that grocery card and will fill the basket with whatever the hell they want to fill it with.

Not sure how many 'cajun-creole' folk we got in Mississippi but I think it's very damned few.

Anonymous said...

Those methods of procuring and cooking food started years before food stamps, people got accustomed to it, and continued on. It's now part of "southern culture" you fuckwad. Kroger sells pigs feet because there is a demand, you fuckwad. Now, go and take your fuckwad rebuttal and comeback with a real one.

Anonymous said...

The discussion is not about when people started cooking with lard. The discussion is about a present day status of 'fattest and most unhealthy in the nation'. As in real time. We can talk all day about mama cooking greens with fatback eighty years ago. It's a systemic reality that we are plagued by 48% of the population who don't or won't work and who eat fat laced with a little meat.

Fact is, with all the education available today and all the healthy foods available at the stores and all the pamphlets passed out at the medicaid offices, the demographic doesn't give a shit and is still gonna eat what they gonna eat and bitch because the 'lectic cart ain't powered up at Wally World.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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