Sunday, May 5, 2019

Bill Crawford: Mississippi Population Trends Make Healthcare Big

Reckon conservatives will listen when two conservative, pro-capitalism columnists say healthcare is a big issue in Mississippi?

Both Wyatt Emmerich and Sid Salter have conservative views and come from the owner side of newspapers where capitalism prevails. Both recently wrote powerful columns about the need to address healthcare issues in Mississippi.

Emmerich wrote about Medicaid expansion and pointed to a Millsaps College poll that showed "'making healthcare more accessible and affordable' is the third most important issue to Mississippi voters, after fixing the roads and teacher pay raises."

Salter wrote about his own healthcare challenges in a column entitled "Paying for public health care remains federal, state governments’ most vexing challenge." He noted that "Aging Baby Boomers like me are going to significantly swell the ranks of the uninsured and underinsured over the next 20 years."

Both the swelling and the vexing are with us already.

As noted last week, 63 of Mississippi's 82 counties lost population from 2010 through 2018, according to recently released U.S. Census Bureau data. Significantly, there is one population demographic that increased in every one of our 82 counties – people age 65 and older, the group Salter is closing in on.

This older population segment grew statewide by 21% while total population grew less than 1%. Wow!

Also significant was the change in the age 18 to 64 population demographic. Statewide this age group declined 1%. It declined in all 63 counties that lost population plus another eight counties. That the decrease wasn't greater can be attributed to growth of this segment in a handful of large population counties – DeSoto, Lamar, Madison, Harrison, Hancock and Rankin, all of which had good total population growth

In raw numbers the older segment grew nearly 80,000 while the younger segment fell about 26,000.

Why do these trends matter?

Well, shrinkage of the 18 to 64 demographic, the major job-holding and taxpayer age group, will result in fewer people working and paying taxes in most Mississippi counties.

Growth of the 65 and older demographic will result in more demand for Medicaid funded nursing home beds, more Medicaid funding for poor elders on Medicare, and more healthcare access to hospitals and clinics in rural areas, not to mention higher homestead exemption costs and more local services for seniors.


Fewer people working and paying taxes in most counties with more people demanding taxpayer funded services in every county – sounds pretty darn vexing to me.

No doubt that's why Emmerich points out that Mississippi's failure to expand Medicaid may be costing us both population growth and jobs.

He pointed to both Louisiana and Arkansas which expanded Medicaid. Louisiana's population grew 126,493, seven times Mississippi’s growth rate. Arkansas' grew 97,707, five times Mississippi’s growth rate. He also noted that Arkansas tax collections jumped $200 million this year.


Looks like these two conservative neighboring states are using Medicaid expansion to help grow their populations and provide needed healthcare to their citizens.

What will conservatives in Mississippi do?

Emmerich is clearly fed up with conservative politicians who won't even talk about the issue, much less solve it – notably Tate Reeves and Philip Gunn.

Salter says "there is no more important question for political candidates than this one: How do you plan to pay for public health care?”

See their columns here:

Crawford is a syndicated columnist from Meridian.


Anonymous said...

Let's talk about C.O.N. that keeps hospitals out of Madison.

Anonymous said...

Please link the study that these statistics are based on....inquiring minds want to know

Anonymous said...

Mississippi has more issues than most states. examples such as diabetes, obesity, teen pregnancy, as well as STD's are a huge concern and due mainly to poverty!!! We have the highest % of black population in the country per state. Black patients are much more prone to diabetes. This is a huge expense that other states are not prone to. So it's not all apples to apples.

Bill Crawford said...

Response to 8:42: Go to American Fact Finder at Click on “advanced search.”

Anonymous said...

Thx Bill...

Anonymous said...

This is the most fundamental test Mississippians could possibly have to make a determination of whether their political candidates are concerned with serving ALL the people of Mississippi or appealing to to their political base of support just to win a primary and an election. Would Tate, Waller, or Reeves throw the baby out with the bathwater just to please a short sighted bunch of foggies who want to keep the "Mississippi way of Life" We'll see.

Anonymous said...

Bill Waller Jr and Jim Hood both offer a path forward. People do not want that. They will vote for Tate.

Anonymous said...

10:06 - Did you intend to mention Reeves twice in your question?

Mississippi is a poor state. How much more can we afford to have extracted from our wages in order to provide for those who can't or won't provide for themselves? We've already watched our education system go to shit because of liberal efforts to 'average' and 'dumb down' the systems.

If we give up much more, individually and as families, we'll be Venezuela.

Anonymous said...

How very far he's fallen when Crawford desperately leans on Emmerich as some sort of "conservative" wise man. Good Lord save us. Find some other damn voices Kingfish before JJ goes as stale as Crawford and Salter.

Anonymous said...

I certainly don't consider Emmerich conservative.

Anonymous said...

10:43 So expanding medicaid to access dollars that are already there will make us Venezuela? What did the other poor states who take the money become?

Mississippi Lord have mercy Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

Why are STDs and pregnancy 'linked to poverty'? If everybody passes through the same or similar hormonal influences, why does poverty determine who lays back?

Mr. Crawford might also want to know that 98% of all Mississippi deaths in 2017 involved both male and female who had ingested either salad or carrots during the year.

Anonymous said...

Ending the use of tax dollars to fund junk food with no nutritional value would eliminate the need to expand medicaid. Why are we paying for soda, candy, chips, etc? Mississippi could save hundreds of millions a year. Feeding disease for the pharmaceutical industry. Stand behind someone with an EBT card when the sodas are on sale.

Anonymous said...

So they conflate Medicaid expansion with both population growth and increase in tax revenue? Where is any statistical analysis to show a cause and effect?

Anonymous said...

to 3:45...boy howdy , do you get it right or what!!!

Anonymous said...

Wyatt Emmerich attacked Shad White as being intellectually dishonest and compromised. Surely, no one will label Emmerich a conservative ever again.

Anonymous said...

It irritates me that whenever Bill Crawford writes an article extolling the virtues of Medicaid expansion, he never simply discloses that he is a sitting member of the Board of Directors a hospital health system that would directly benefit to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. I know he is not a journalist by profession, but it seems such a disclosure (at least once) would be dictated by simple journalistic ethics, assuming such still exists. I respect his opinions, but he deliberately deprives his readers from having the appropriate frame of reference as to his possible bias. Anyway, he keeps doing it, and it is irritating.

Anderson Regional Medical Center Board Of Directors:

Anonymous said...

"simple journalistic ethics" = oxymoron

Anonymous said...

7:22 am God forbid someone who knows something about how the medical system works should comment when we can hear from clueless people like you. You don't dispute the facts or his points, you attack him.

Anonymous said...

If MS puts up $100, the federal government will put of $900 - that's the match rate on this program. MS would be falling all over itself for any other federal program that has a 90% match rate. The people eligible for this reform are the WORKING poor. The program almost certainly would be a pick up for the state general fund - not a cost. Mike Pence found a conservative solution in IN, and MS should too. As it is, federal money is being spent in CA and NY, and yes, conservative IN, instead of MS.

Anonymous said...

2:05 pm STDs and pregnancy and illness are linked to poverty because the poor tend not to have either education or access ( purchase power) to know how to take preventative measures or recognize the need get early treatment. Or even when they do know, they can't afford it.

Sex is a free entertainment and pleasure. Creating a family is seen as creating those who will love and value you and give you authority where none exists. And, one of more of those children may grow up to improve your economic outlook.

This is the human condition that has existed throughout history and in every society. The poor have more children and more health problems than the rich.

The remedy is education, but men who seek power and cheap labor figured out long ago that creating new followers and new sources of labor is easier than converting or enticing others. It's a means of sustaining power than continues to backfire once the numbers of and poor conditions of " unwashed masses" become to large to control.

Anonymous said...

We could triple our Medicaid budget and still leave people wanting for care. The problem is cultural, not financial.

Anonymous said...

May 6, 2019 at 8:41 AM = misses the point, purposefully

Rod Knox said...

And Bill Crawford's situation may be somewhat common in this "most corrupt state" 7:22. Reading between the lines of the Tupelo paper for several decades I feel somewhat sure that the local Daily Journal's board are primary owners of the regional hospital situated directly across the street. Of course Delaware corporate regulations protect the owners' anonymity. But ain't it great to have such $ucce$$ful neighbors. We can all feel richer being in their midst.

Anonymous said...

At 12:48. No person "owns" a non-profit. The hospital in Tupelo and the one for which Bill Crawford serves are non-profits. I doubt very much that any board members on either hospital board are paid anything other than reimbursements for expenses, if any are incurred, in attending meetings. If they are paid anything, it is certainly not much.

I don't know whether Crawford should state for every article that he writes on this topic that he serves on a hospital board. It doesn't change the fact that hospitals - and other providers - in the state are struggling. Maybe he should just to let folks know.

Rod Knox said...

I'd be very interested in where you found that information 1:16. Someone must own the hospitals regardless whether they are for profit or not. And someone(s) are apparently making a great deal of profit from the non profits.

Anonymous said...

9:07 AM We do have a cultural problem. A racist Klan mentality has destroyed this state. They have held this state back for generations.

Anonymous said...

2:38, I know these are non-profit hospitals and am almost certain these are non-stock corporations. There are by-laws that set out the Boards and governance rules of these entities. As far as ownership, no person owns these companies as their is no stock or ownership interest owned by a person. No person has a right to the returns (or obligation for the losses) of the hospital.

The article you posted is related to some of the largest non-profit hospitals in the country. Some relevant quotes from the article....

"The same study did show that a majority of the 3,000 U.S. hospitals that they studied lost money...when just considering patient care services. They did not look at potential profits from other activities such as education, licensing technology, renting space, investments, parking, selling T-shirts and plush toys, and providing wonderful hospital food." In MS, there isn't a whole lot of money to be made from licensing technology or selling T-shirts.

"What types of hospitals tended to be more profitable? Those that were larger, located in urban areas, did not have to teach medical students, interns or residents, and were part of a larger health system." MS is a rural state so some of the factors listed in the article are not relevant to MS.

Anonymous said...

Medicaid expansion is a must.

Rod Knox said...

Well you took advantage of your opportunity to ignore the fact that non profits make profits as stated in the link. Ignoring facts is such a clever way to pretend you're correct. I take it you have a lot of practice.

Anonymous said...

4:07. I didn't say non-profits cannot have net income or imply that anywhere. They can. They can also lose money. Your first post stated something that is just not true - "I feel somewhat sure that the local Daily Journal's board are primary owners of the regional hospital situated directly across the street". It is just a simple statement of fact that individuals are not owners of non-profits. And, it's misleading to imply that individuals are making decisions that result in ownership profits going into their pockets. That's why a non-profit has net assets as opposed to shareholders equity on its balance sheet.

Anonymous said...

Well, sounds like the greedy boomers should've saved more of their money along the way to pay for their healthcare costs as they age... Or you know, they can just pass it off on younger generations to deal with, just like everything else.

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