Governor Reeves wants an end to the health emergency related to COVID-19

Gov. Tate Reeves joined 24 other states in asking President Joe Biden to end the federal public health emergency for COVID-19, which would allow the state to remove some people from Medicaid coverage.

First announced in January 2020 during the Trump administration, the public health emergency gives healthcare providers flexibility in how they operate. That public health emergency has been extended multiple times since then — most recently extended again in October and set to end in January 2023, though the department has not indicated it will not be renewed. The department said it would notify governors at least 60 days before the end of the declaration.

“It’s about time we got back to normal,” Reeves said in a tweet on Monday.

His comment echoed the point made by the governors in the letter: “Although the virus will be with us for some time, the emergency phase of the pandemic is behind us.”

While Mississippi is not currently experiencing a major spike, cases of COVID-19 are still occurring daily. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3,255 cases have been identified in Mississippi in the past week. The number of cases has risen slightly in recent weeks, but not near any of the previous peaks. The CDC also reports that 53.5 percent of Mississippians have completed the core vaccine series, a number that has held up for some time.

During a public health emergency, states are not allowed to kick anyone off Medicaid under federal regulations. In return, the states received additional federal funding.

In the letter, the governors say the increased number of people covered by Medicaid is a drain on state funding. The percentage of each person’s care covered by the federal government was increased, but the state has more people in charge of oversight.

The governors say 20 million people have been added to Medicaid coverage since the pandemic began, a number that “continues to rise as (the public health emergency) continues to be extended every 90 days.”

The Mississippi Department of Medicaid also changed the services it provides for those who would traditionally be ineligible, confusing patients and providers.

By lifting the public health emergency, Mississippi could return to providing Medicaid only to certain groups: poor pregnant women, poor children, people with disabilities, certain categories of seniors, and certain caregivers of recipients of Medicaid living in extreme poverty.

Reeves ended the state of emergency in Mississippi last November.

Share your thoughts!

Staying true to our mission of reporting to you, we want to ask you a favor. Will you be participating in our annual reader survey? Whether it’s your first visit to our site or you read our stories every day — your feedback helps us a lot to plan and develop our editorial.

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Close the window

Republish this article

Unless otherwise noted, you can repost most of the Mississippi today stories free under a Creative Commons Permissive.

For digital publications:

  • Look for the “Publish this story” button below each story. To republish online, simply click the button, copy the html code and paste it into your content management system (CMS).
  • Editorial cartoons and photo essays are not included in the Creative Commons license and therefore do not have the “Publish this story” button option. To learn more about our cartoon syndication services, click here.
  • You may not edit our stories except to reflect relative changes in time, location and editorial style.
  • You may not sell or syndicate our stories.
  • Any website where our stories appear must include a contact for your organization.
  • If you share our stories on social media, please tag us in your posts using @MSTODAY news on Facebook and @MSTODAY news on Twitter.

For print publications:

  • You have to credit Mississippi Today. We prefer “Author Name, Mississippi Today” in the byline. If you are unable to add the author’s name, please include a line at the top of the story that reads, “This story was originally published by Mississippi Today” and include our website, mississippitoday.org.
  • You may not edit our stories except to reflect relative changes in time, location and editorial style.
  • You may not republish our editorial cartoons, photographs, illustrations or graphics without specific permission (contact our editor-in-chief Kaylee Skinner For more information). To learn more about our cartoon syndication services, click here.
  • Our stories may appear on ad pages, but not ads specifically sold against our stories.
  • You may not sell or syndicate our stories.
  • You can only publish selected stories individually — not as a collection.
  • Any website where our stories appear must include a contact for your organization.
  • If you share our stories on social media, please tag us in your posts using @MSTODAY news on Facebook and @MSTODAY news on Twitter.

If you have any other questions, please contact the Director of Audience Development Lauchlin Fields.

1

What questions do you have about Medicaid in Mississippi?

Please take a few minutes to share your questions.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *