JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The “Save Our Hospitals” tour made a stop St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson on Monday, October 9.

The hospital shut down its Behavioral Health Unit in June due to financial challenges. The closure left more than 150 people unemployed and patients without critical care.

Standing outside the hospital on Monday, State Representative Zakiya Summers (D-District 68) said it’s time for Mississippi to expand Medicaid to help struggling hospitals.

Earlier this year, presumptive House Speaker Jason White indicated that Medicaid expansion would be discussed in the 2024 Legislative Session.

“I am very hopeful and grateful that the speaker pro tempore has put this issue to the forefront and say that we can at least discuss it. But we need to do more than discussing. We’ve seen the data. We know that hundreds of thousands of Mississippi don’t have access to the health care that they need,” said Summers.

Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) remains adamantly opposed to Medicaid expansion for Mississippi’s working poor. Last month, he announced his plan to help struggling hospitals, which included a series of Medicaid reimbursement reforms that opened up $700 million for Mississippi hospitals.

“I can appreciate the governor, you know, coming out with a plan, but it always seems like he’s coming out with a plan at the last minute. He has the ability to call a special session right now and say we’re going to address this health care crisis. He has failed to do that,” said Summers.