Democrats finalize hospital crisis plan, blast Republicans for inaction

Mississippi Today

Democratic legislative leaders will propose a plan this week to address a problem they say most of their Republican counterparts won’t even fully acknowledge: the Mississippi hospital crisis. State health officials have warned lawmakers that 38 rural hospitals across the state are in danger of imminent closure because of budget problems. Some of those hospitals are larger regional care centers, such as Greenwood Leflore Hospital. Even the large metro hospitals are understaffed and struggling to provide adequate care due to rising costs. Physicians and other health care leaders are sounding the alarm about the entire state’s ability to maintain a reliable system of care. Given the growing urgency of the crisis, Democratic leaders under the dome say they can’t wait around for their Republican counterparts to propose solutions. “I feel silly trying to explain to (Republicans) why we need to do something about this quickly when the need is right there smacking them in the face every single day,” said Rep. Robert Johnson, the House Democratic leader. “These people have the best possible access to the best possible information about the state, and they’re ignoring it. They’re running away from the problem. The house is fully on fire right now, but it’s fine because Republicans say it’s not really burning.

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