Sunday, January 28, 2018

Bill Crawford: Medicaid cuts will hurt all.

Our politicians these days seem to look only at the costs of health care when making policy decisions. Thus, it is no surprise legislative leaders are proposing to cut already low Medicaid reimbursements by 5% while Congressional leaders look to slash health care spending wherever they can.
People with health crises have a different view. During this flu epidemic, mothers with sick babies on Medicaid have trouble getting timely access to providers. Clinics are backed up, hospital emergency rooms are on patient diversion, and too many children are really sick.
More cuts to Medicaid will likely cause more private clinics to quit accepting Medicaid. Already too many clinics do not since Mississippi Medicaid reimbursements are among the lowest in the nation.
More cuts to Medicaid will put more rural hospitals at risk of closure, or at least their emergency rooms. They can't stay open when costs continually exceed revenues.
More cuts to Medicaid will make it hard to recruit and retain physicians in Mississippi. It's already hard. It will get harder.
Seriously ill rural residents needing specialty care travel farther and farther to receive services. That will just get worse as more communities and hospitals lose specialty physicians.
Meanwhile, as hospital emergency room usage soars, Medicaid and Medicare continue to reduce payments for uncompensated emergency room care.
And, while Congress finally reauthorized and sustained funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program through Medicaid, federal funding for community health centers remains uncertain. These health centers provide essential medical services for large and growing numbers of uninsured and Medicaid patients.
And, the President and Congress look to reduce subsidies for low-income families with Affordable Care Act exchange health insurance. These tend to be mostly working families without employer or dependent coverage. As families drop these policies due to increased premiums, the burden on community health centers and emergency rooms will only grow and grow.
Rural communities will suffer most. Residents there already have few choices.
As one with family members currently suffering from flu, heart conditions, dementia, and pancreatic cancer, I am thankful for the precious access we have to health care in America. Seems like this is something we would want to strengthen and provide to all, not tear down.
Yes, Obamacare went too far, but Republicans don’t need to go too far the other way.
For example, protecting the escalating, and often obscene, profits for giant pharmaceutical companies while not protecting the wellbeing of the working poor, e.g. leaving them without coverage and access, is not conservative, it's diabolical.
The Associated Press reported that Mississippi's population fell for the third year in a row, "as more people moved away from the Magnolia State than moved in."
The AP also reported that John Green, director of the University of Mississippi Center for Population Studies, said, "If I had to argue one prevailing reason for net out-migration from Mississippi, I would focus on the search for socio-economic opportunities and wellbeing."
A state whose mantra is cut Medicaid, cut public health, and cut mental health not only puts its health care infrastructure at risk but also will find it hard to keep and attract talent.  
Crawford ( is a syndicated columnist from Meridian.


Anonymous said...

Cherry picking Crawford at it again. Always suspected he was the family member with dementia.

Hello from Texas! said...

I didn't move from Mississippi for any of the reasons in this piece, I just grew tired of dealing with self-entitled, ignorant people with a chip on their shoulder.

Anonymous said...

Although it doesn’t make him a bad guy, it is curious that Crawford never discloses that he serves on the board of directors of a large regional medical center. I mean, his employer suckles at the very teat of Medicaid, after all. Everything Crawford writes about health care policy in general, and about Medicaid in particular, must be understood with this frame of reference in mind. He “ghosts” for his Hospital industry buddies whenever he opines about Mississippi healthcare. He is the opposite of fair and impartial on this topic.

Anonymous said...

There is no need for Mississippi taxpayers to prop up small rural hospitals with regional medical center no more than an hour away. It's not cost effective. If people move out of Mississippi because of lack of Medicaid doctors, then bye bye. It will save us money. We need productive citizens here.

Anonymous said...

I refuse to read Crawford because of his bias and failure to disclose his apparent connections to topics he frequently discusses. I am glad others are now seeing through this lack of transparency. I do like to read the comments and see people recognize him for what he is.

Anonymous said...

Amazing to me while Ms Leg. decreases access to medical treatment the same leg. Refuse to
address actions associated with wellness- raising tobacco tax, funding opine education
and limiting food stamp purchases to heathy foods.

Anonymous said...

Has Crawford officiallly switched to the Democratic Party?I am sure that they would give him the Tim Johnson treatment.

I do not believe in eliminating the Medicaid program but to believe that it is MS’s ticket to better health care outcomes and a stronger economy is foolish and Keynesian. It reminds me of the Winston Churchill quote about trying to lift oneself up by the bucket while standing in the bucket.

Anonymous said...

Better than a Rick Cleveland column.

Anonymous said...

Someday, and maybe sooner than later, we'll all realize that poor people getting any level of care is better than them getting none at all and adjust our delivery models accordingly. Nothing else in our lives is equal regardless of our ability to pay. Why should health care be any different?

Anonymous said...

When you learn, someone has to pay.

Anonymous said...

12:57 pm If you don't read an article because you feel the author may have a bias, you need not read at all ever.
Every author has a bias or what may be experience in the subject that influences his or her interpretation of which facts are relevant.
If you can't dispute their point of view or why the facts they cite aren't definitive, that's on you.
Apparently, you just want your beliefs reinforced regardless of whether or not they are well founded.

Anonymous said...

Texas, it's those self-entitled, ignorant people with a chip on their shoulder that created the reasons listed, so you made a point without a difference.

The sad fact is that unless a Mississippian has a business or properties here that can support the next generation or the political/social connections to enhance their children's level of skills, or the next generation lacks mobility because they aren't marketable elsewhere, our children are leaving. They are leaving to achieve on their merits and to find a more level playing field that's not based on " who they know".

God bless the few who do stay or come back because they have a social conscious and want Mississippi to succeed. Of course, those are the folks Mississippians love to hate especially if they have an Ivy League education or academic achievements like a Rhodes scholarship. The first rap is always " they think they are smarter than we are". It never occurs to anyone that maybe they are. Maybe they even actually have learned something worth knowing like how others have successfully solved problems we are still having.

Anonymous said...

Every author has a bias or what may be experience in the subject that influences his or her interpretation of which facts are relevant.

Capt Stating-the-Obvious makes an appearance.

Plain ol' Catfish said...

@ January 29, 2018 at 7:41 AM

You deserve a damn Dilly-Dilly on that one! well said!

People just hate admitting when Bill Crawford is right. But he's right and people will be none the wiser for continuing to bash his points.

He gives early warnings and a year or two down the road, he turns out to be right.

Of course, politicians like Bryant and Reeves will tell you otherwise through fluff tactics. But the numbers never lie, especially for those who know what they are looking at and understanding the data.

Bill's talking points may not be popular with the "conservative" masses, but once again, if Mississippi does not take action to address Medicaid funding. Bill will be right, once again.

But I am pretty sure, this is something Bill does not want to be right about in the future.

otisfyfe said...

The Mississippi legislature has a storied history of making assumptions about groups of people. For example:

All teachers are second rate employees who aren't really professional and don't need to make much money.

All state employees should be happy to have a job and don't need wage increase but every seven or eight years.

All medicaid recipients are scamming the system, should get off their asses and go to work and we can't be expanding this program for more of that crap.

We are a special group of servants who deserve dual, double retirement programs and perks such as per diem, gaveling in late and gaveling out early. We work our asses off and are away from our families and deserve way more than we get.

Anonymous said...

Catfish, Oh Catfish....what a soothsayer and teller of fortunes you have turned out to be. When an article-writer stated the obvious as a projection of the future, you bit it hook, line and sinker and saw it as some sort of miraculous revelation. Good God Man...He stated the damned obvious and all you wanted to do was bash the Gov and Light Gov. But, speaking of obvious....

Plain ol' Catfish said...

@ January 29, 2018 at 4:48 PM

How is calling out the Gub'nor and Lt. Gub'nor for spinning facts, bashing them? LMAO!

Anonymous said...

7:45 - Prolly 'cause this thread ain't got shit to do with either one of them. But, Seein' as how you've revealed yourself, over time, to be pretty show on the uptake, here's a hint: This is about nothing more than Crawford's hidden agenda and his weakness at hiding it.

(Do it count if it's the BACK of a street sign?)

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