The fight between red states and the Biden regime escalates with each passing day.
Similar to law enforcement agencies and first responders around the country, hospitals continue to be at risk of losing vital staff members due to authoritarian COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Rural hospitals in particular are facing greater risks given their smaller size.
According to a 2019 report from the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals, 26 rural hospitals have closed in Texas in the last decade. The organization cites the driving force behind the closures is Medicare cuts totaling $50 million a year, and a $100 million a year that is underpaid by Texas Medicaid. With a possible crackdown on the implementation of new mandates, the Medicare and Medicaid funding the hospitals have been receiving is in danger of being forfeited if staffers don’t get the vaccine, KCBD in Lubbock reports.
“How’s Governor Abbott going to take this? He hasn’t complied with anything federal laws have done so far. So, we’re going have to, here in Texas at least, we’re going to have to wait and see how that plays out,” Jerry Jasper, CEO at Brownfield Regional Medical Center said.
Governor Abbott recently prohibited public hospitals from mandating that staffers get the jab.
Amid a decades-long nursing shortage, placement agencies that specialize in medical staffing are luring nurses away with the promise of larger paychecks, and patient care suffers in rural areas where the loss of even one nurse is a significant percentage of the whole. This of course results in overworked and over-stressed hospital staff who must cover the loss in manpower.
Jasper says vaccines are highly encouraged, but not all of his staff have received the shot.
“Probably 20 to 25 percent of my staff will have to go away if that’s the case,” referring to the possibility that Gov. Abbott bends the knee to the Biden administration. Jasper says losing those workers would probably shut them down. Losing Medicare and Medicaid money isn’t an option either, as it accounts for 80 to 85 percent of their funding.
“It’s huge in our rural community as all the other rural communities. We all have high poverty levels and stuff like that, so a lot of Medicaid usage in our communities and stuff like that,” Jasper said.
“Well it would be devastating for the community, frankly. We have a large percentage of our revenue that comes from Medicare, Medicaid and those kinds of products,” Larry Gray, Seminole Hospital District CEO said.
Gray says about 70 percent of his staff have been vaccinated. While he encourages the vaccine and contends it is safe, he doesn’t think the mandate is the right approach.
“I think the mandate is just a terrible message because if the vaccinations are working, why do you have to mandate people to get the vaccines? What happens to individual choice and medical decisions between the patient and their doctor, which is all of the things that we’re trying to support,” Gray said.
He related that seemingly every week, the hospital receives a new regulation from a new agency, probably created from thin air. The inconsistency is difficult to absorb.
Jerry Jasper says it’s a waiting game to see what those rules are and if the state is willing to stay in the fight against the mandates.
Texas is one of those pesky red states that Joe Biden and the Democrats loathe, but while rural hospitals such as those in Texas will be the first to suffer or completely close due to a lack of medical staff, the problem will predictably reach larger metropolitan areas in no time at all.
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