CONGRESSMAN BENNIE THOMPSON ANNOUNCES COSPONSORSHIP FOR THE COVER NOW ACT
(BOLTON, MISSISSIPPI) – Congressman Bennie Thompson announced his support for the Cover Outstanding Vulnerable Expansion-Eligible Residents Now (COVER Now) Act. This landmark legislation authorizes the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to work directly with counties, cities, and other political subdivisions to expand Medicaid coverage. It would allow local healthcare providers to help vulnerable residents in States which have declined to accept federal resources for Medicaid expansion. Mississippi is one of 12 states that has opted not to expand the joint state-federal program under the Affordable Care Act.
“If enacted, this legislation bypasses governors who don’t see healthcare as a priority for all its citizens,” said Rep. Thompson.
Hospitals are financially struggling to care for uninsured communities. Overall, Mississippi hospitals have to pay more than $600 million a year for uncompensated care, according to the Mississippi Hospital Association. Medicaid expansion would reduce these losses by more than $251 million. Over half of Mississippi’s 64 rural hospitals are at high financial risk. There have been several hospitals to close, while others are on the brink of bankruptcy.
The State of Mississippi has lost $7 billion thus far, because of its refusal to expand Medicaid. If Mississippi expanded Medicaid, the state would receive more than $1 billion a year, according to estimates.