Rural hospitals closing

Posted Friday, Mar. 14, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Some people have expressed concern that rural hospitals are in more danger of closing due to the Affordable Care Act.

BHM Healthcare reported that ACA implementation combined with refusal of the Medicaid expansion will lead to the closings of more rural hospitals in those states refusing the expansion.

A fourth rural hospital in Georgia is closing. ThinkProgress reported that one in four people in this hospital in Wheeler county are uninsured and that approximately 5 million working poor Americans that live in states refusing the Medicaid expansion will fall in the coverage gap.

A large percentage of clients using the small rural hospitals in these states are at or below the poverty level and these hospitals have been dependent on reimbursement for part of their care through the government Disproportionate Share Hospital fund, which is being reduced under the ACA.

Those of us who value the personal care and handiness of these hospitals will lose. Those states refusing the Medicaid expansion need to rethink their decision.

— Edward V. Harris,

Hugo, OK

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