February 22, 2016

We’re often told ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion will bailout the hospital industry and keep them open. But is that really true?

Will spending $3 billion North Carolina taxpayer dollars to give free Medicaid health insurance to single, childless, able bodied adults, many of whom don’t work, help hospitals? A recent article from Wyoming examines the experience of states that have expanded Medicaid and concludes hospitals haven’t been helped.

In fact, massive ObamaCare expansion cost overruns are forcing cutbacks in hospital payments.

Check this out. “Medicaid’s enrollment exploded far beyond expectations, blowing huge holes in state budgets that legislators had to fill and leaving many patients waiting for care.

To plug these holes, states aggressively cut payments to hospitals. For example, after Connecticut enrolled 64,000 more individuals than expected in 2014, Gov. Dannel Malloy slashed hospital reimbursements by $192 million to address the program’s growing costs.

Alaska also expanded Medicaid last July and already it has become a fiscal headache for taxpayers. Now Gov. Bill Walker is calling on legislators to slash Medicaid payments by $100 million between now and 2017.”

And loading more able bodied people in the Medicaid boat leaves less money for the disabled or the elderly poor. “When Medicaid expands to able-bodied and childless adults, it is the most vulnerable who lose out.

With such limited access to doctors, Medicaid patients often develop conditions that go undetected and untreated until it’s too late.”

Neither is ObamaCare expansion a panacea for hospitals. “An extensive review of state Medicaid programs by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 28 states cut or froze hospital payments in 2011, and a total of 40 states restricted reimbursements in 2012.

Yet despite Medicaid’s untenable fiscal situation and harmful impact on patients, 31 states expanded Medicaid yet again under Obamacare, putting hospitals and patients further at risk.

A report by the Kentucky Hospital Association estimated that the state’s hospitals lost $1 billion as a result of Medicaid expansion, and it expects to lose a total of $7 billion by 2024.”

Read the full story here.