Cleveland's daily newspaper reports that Bolivar Medical Center's CEO, Steve Nichols, has resigned his position. According to Nichols, recent changes in health care have caused him to reconsider his career options. Bolivar Medical Center is owned by LifePoint, Inc., a major for-profit, publicly traded, corporation operating out of Brentwood, Tennessee.
LifePoint officials expressed gratitude to Mr. Nichols for his service and leadership over the past three years. An immediate search for the CEO's replacement has begun.
It seems that DRMC has not cornered the market on health care controversy. Although the news report is rather vague as to the exact "changes" that prompted Mr. Nichol's resignation, one can assume that the upcoming Medicaid battle is most likely a factor.
It is difficult to fathom how our elected "leaders" in Jackson can justify taxing hospitals over cigarettes as solution to the Medicaid sinkhole. Why should we tax those citizens who "pay" for medical services by increasing the costs of insurance premiums and co-pays? The tobacco industry, which boasts of record profits, is directly responsible for the 38% rise in tobacco related diseases and deaths in the last decade... and yet we "choose" to tax hospitals over tobacco?
I think NOT! Haley Barbour "chooses" to protect the tobacco industry because he has direct financial ties to that industry. But even "Fat Cat Haley" is having difficulty selling this line of "bull" to smokers and non-smokers. Taxing the "cures" and protecting the "causes" of diseases is a hard sell at best, but it should prompt us all to look more closely at the motives of such "politicians".
Health care in Mississippi is in deep trouble; not for a lack of providers, but for a lack of insight into who and what steers its course. Mr. Nichols' resignation does not bode well for our Delta hospitals' future. How we fund Medicaid is an issue which will affect us all, directly or indirectly, and we should make our voices heard. Write your senators, representatives and Mr. Barbour and let them know that you do not support taxing our hospitals into closure.