Report Projects GOP Health Bill Will Harm Hospitals in Every State


This week, the U.S. Senate debuted their GOP health bill, a plan that includes deep cuts to Medicaid. These cuts would have dramatic impacts on hospital finances in every state, according to an analysis released this morning by the Commonwealth Fund, particularly in Medicaid expansion states like West Virginia.

Over the next 10 years, uncompensated care costs may increase by almost 80 percent in Medicaid expansion states, the analysis found. The authors project that by 2026, West Virginia could expect to see uncompensated care costs rise 122 percent and 165 percent in Kentucky.

The report also said that rural hospitals will be negatively affected, many of whom have already been struggling to keep doors open. Concerns about infrastructure – not just hospitals, but also federally funded health centers – are echoed by Michael Brumage, executive director of the Kanawha-Charleston County health department.

“It’s not only the provision of direct medical care, but also the community’s ability to respond to things like disease outbreaks or floods like we had last year here in West Virginia,” he said.

So far, five Republican Senators have come out against the bill. West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito has expressed concerns with the legislation, but has not formally made a statement one way or another.

Appalachia Helth News

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.