JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – As the General Election approaches in Mississippi, Democratic leaders are calling for greater support for the state’s hospitals.

House and Senate Democratic leaders held a news conference on Wednesday on the steps of the Mississippi State Capitol. This was part of the “Save Our Hospitals” Tour, which is a public relations campaign that was launched to boost support for Medicaid expansion.

Twenty-five of the 74 rural hospitals in Mississippi are at immediate risk of closure within the next two to three years. Medicaid expansion supports believe the program would improve the hospitals’ outlooks dramatically.

House Democratic Leader Rep. Robert Johnson III (D-District 94) said a healthy workforce and access to healthcare would translate to a better Mississippi. He also called out Gov. Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) for his opposition to Medicaid expansion.

“Here’s the bottom line. Tate Reeves has the ability to expand Medicaid immediately to save hundreds of lives here in Jackson and all over Mississippi right here today. The role of the governor is to provide at least for the least of us. But at the very minimum, to do no harm. Tate Reeves says things have never been better in Mississippi. But the truth is our hospitals are closing. And that’s just part of the story,” said Johnson.

In September, Reeves announced a series of Medicaid reimbursement reforms in Mississippi. According to the governor, the reforms are estimated to generate approximately $700 million for hospitals across the state.