JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves did an abrupt about-face Sunday on a problem for which Democrats have been sharply criticizing him this election 12 months, saying for the primary time that he desires the state to permit a full 12 months of Medicaid protection to ladies after they provide start.
Reeves stated on social media that if the Republican-controlled state Home and Senate ship him a invoice to permit a 12 months of postpartum Medicaid protection, “I’ll signal it into legislation.”
Reeves stated he’s prepared to take action “as a part of our new pro-life agenda.” He stated extra infants shall be born as a result of the U.S. Supreme Courtroom upended abortion rights nationwide final 12 months with a case that originated in Mississippi.
“I consider that to be an exquisite factor,” Reeves wrote. “I additionally consider that added stress shall be felt by extra Mississippi moms. We now have to like them. We now have to assist them.”
As governor since January 2020 and through two earlier phrases as lieutenant governor, Reeves has resisted efforts to broaden the scope of Medicaid and different authorities packages. He has not publicly modified his opposition to a broader enlargement of Medicaid protection to working folks with low-wage jobs that do not present non-public insurance coverage. Mississippi is considered one of 11 states that haven’t authorised that broader enlargement.
Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have extended postpartum Medicaid coverage to a full 12 months.
Physicians within the Mississippi State Medical Affiliation and companies leaders within the Mississippi Financial Council have endorsed a full 12 months of postpartum Medicaid protection, saying it might enhance well being outcomes in a state with a excessive price of maternal mortality.
Mississippi is likely one of the poorest states within the U.S., and about 60% of births in Mississippi are to ladies coated by Medicaid. The state normally permits two months of postpartum Medicaid protection.
For the reason that COVID-19 public well being emergency began in 2020, Mississippi has allowed a full 12 months of postpartum protection, though many sufferers have stated the state did little to allow them to know the protection remained after the same old two months.
The nationwide public well being emergency is ready to run out in Might. The deadline, mixed with the Mississippi election season, has intensified debate over postpartum protection.
Brandon Presley, a state utility regulator now working for governor as a Democrat, stated Thursday on Twitter that Reeves “would not have the center to push postpartum care for moms.”
“You’ll assume ‘His Majesty’ would have the ability to persuade the Legislature to do the best factor,” Presley wrote. “In contrast to @tatereeves, I do not assume I do know greater than docs.”
The 2 Democratic leaders within the Mississippi Legislature — Sen. Derrick Simmons of Greenville and Rep. Robert Johnson of Natchez — criticized Reeves in a joint assertion Sunday
“Saying he’ll signal this invoice if it involves him is just a last-ditch effort to avoid wasting face on a problem that the overwhelming majority of Mississippians assist,” Simmons and Johnson stated of the governor. “It isn’t brave; it’s craven political theater.”
The Mississippi Senate on Feb. 7 handed a invoice to permit a full 12 months of postpartum Medicaid protection, because it has in earlier years. Home Speaker Philip Gunn, a Republican, has not stated whether or not the Home will take into account that invoice. The opposite Senate payments in recent times have died within the Home due to Gunn’s opposition.
Reeves, who typically refers to himself as a “numbers man,” expressed skepticism Sunday as he staked out his new place on longer postpartum Medicaid protection.
“The controversy surrounding the way forward for these advantages has been fierce,” Reeves wrote. “And, to be completely sincere, I have never been swayed by the info that’s, at finest, incomplete and, at worst, typically misconstrued and mischaracterized by the ‘extra authorities advantages regardless of the fee’ crowd.”
Observe Emily Wagster Pettus on Twitter at http://twitter.com/EWagsterPettus.