Doctor, GOP governor clash over private Medicaid discussion

Rep. Robert Johnson, D-Natchez, heart, and other Democratic legislative leaders criticize the Republican leadership’s inaction on addressing the state’s healthcare facility disaster, for the duration of a information convention at the Mississippi Capitol in Jackson on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said growing Medicaid to people today who function low-wage work that never present private wellness insurance policy would be in the most effective interest of the point out, but has refused to support the coverage for political motives, a previous chancellor of the University of Mississippi mentioned Thursday. (AP Photograph/Rogelio V. Solis)


Mississippi’s Republican Gov. Tate Reeves reported in a private conversation that growing Medicaid to people working reduced-wage jobs would be in the best interest of the point out, but that he refuses to assist the coverage for political good reasons, a previous chancellor of the University of Mississippi said Thursday.

Dr. Dan Jones is a doctor who led the University of Mississippi Healthcare Centre ahead of serving as chancellor of the university from 2009 to 2015. Through a news convention structured by Democratic state lawmakers on Thursday, Jones mentioned that Reeves acknowledged in a personal conversation with him in 2013 or 2014 that expanding Medicaid would advantage Mississippi’s economy, and supply wellness treatment to extra people of a state bedeviled by weak wellness outcomes.

Jones reported he was trying to persuade Reeves, who was the lieutenant governor at the time, to acquire advantage of a 2010 overall health care legislation signed by President Barack Obama that allowed for Medicaid growth, with the federal government masking most of the price. Jones stated the discussion took area in Jones’ business at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

“The governor right after a number of times place his palms up and explained, ‘Chancellor, I realize that it would be fantastic for Mississippians, that it would be good for our financial system, good for health care to develop Medicaid,’” Jones recounted. “I had a massive smile on my experience, and I explained ‘I’m happy to listen to that and I’m happy to listen to you are going to support Medicaid expansion.’ His reaction was, ‘Oh no, I’m not heading to support it simply because it is not in my private political curiosity.’”

Reeves wrote on Twitter Thursday that Jones’ remarks ended up “obviously a lie.”

“I’d bet I hadn’t talked to this dude considering the fact that perfectly just before he was fired by Ole Overlook, and I never would have stated this,” Reeves wrote. “Do you consider he has held this ‘juicy scoop’ for 8 years? Through 2019? And remembered it just ahead of a presser with Democrats in 2023?”

Jones returned to the College of Mississippi Health-related Middle following the state college or university board selected not to renew his deal as chancellor. He retired two yrs in the past, and explained that since then, he has extra independence to speak publicly.

Reeves is seeking a second time period as governor this calendar year. He has usually claimed that he does not want to incorporate individuals to a governing administration overall health system. A Democrat functioning for governor, General public Company Commissioner Brandon Presley, is creating Medicaid enlargement a central guarantee in his very own marketing campaign.

Throughout his State of the Point out speech Monday, Reeves claimed Mississippi need to shore up health care assets by chopping paperwork, growing health care residency applications and relying on technological know-how.

Mississippi is among 11 states that have not taken the possibility from the federal federal government to broaden Medicaid protection to folks operating very low-wage positions without the need of well being insurance policies. At least 15 bills that would have done so expired under a Tuesday deadline without a legislative debate or a vote in the Republican-controlled legislature.

Mississippi has the nation’s highest fetal mortality, toddler mortality and pre-time period delivery prices. At a Jan. 13 legislative listening to, Dr. Daniel Edney, the point out wellbeing officer, reported Mississippi does not have the health care workforce to address a vast selection of poor health and fitness results. Some hospitals are on the brink of everlasting closure thanks to employees shortages and populace drop in bad parts.

At the point out Capitol on Thursday, Jones said he is sharing aspects about his discussion with Reeves now simply because he has under no circumstances right before found Mississippi’s overall health care system less than the strain it is now, even with a $4 billion surplus in the point out spending plan.

“Shame on us for permitting the citizens of Mississippi to have health treatment issues and not have accessibility to wellbeing treatment options,” Jones claimed. “Shame on us in a point out with billions of bucks in its coffers to not act on this to make overall health treatment available to all of our citizens. It is immoral.”


Michael Goldberg is a corps member for the Linked Press/Report for The united states Statehouse Information Initiative. Report for The usa is a nonprofit national company system that spots journalists in community newsrooms to report on undercovered concerns. Adhere to him on Twitter at

This tale was initially revealed February 2, 2023 5:19 PM.