Sunday, January 31, 2016

Coal crash leaves Wyoming hospitals yearning for Medicaid expansion

In a quiet vote the finance committee and trustees for the Campbell County Hospital in Gillette agreed to write off more than $1 million in noncollectable debt for November and December.
At the midway point of the year, the hospital has written off about $12.2 million in bad debt, estimated Dalton Huber, chief financial officer at Campbell County Health. “It’s getting worse,” Huber said simply. The state Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee recently voted against expanding Medicaid programs through the Affordable Care Act in Wyoming. It may force smaller hospitals to close, the governor said in recommending the expansion of Medicaid.
Read the rest here.

Gillette is a scary place. It's where ecocide is encouraged and mercury from coal burning power plants is released into South Dakota's watersheds and beyond.

And, from an editorial in the Lee-owned Casper Star:
Last week the Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee voted down some $268 million in federal funding for Medicaid expansion in Wyoming ... again. Wyoming hospitals wrote off nearly $100 million in charity and uncollectable charges last year, partly because the ER is the provider of choice for many of the roughly 20,000 Wyoming people who would be covered by Medicaid expansion. Medicaid expansion is no longer a political third rail. If the Legislature has a better plan, they should roll it out. If not, it’s time to accept Medicaid expansion.
Read that here.

A policy brief submitted to a legislative panel by the Wyoming Department of Health said Medicaid expansion would mean a $11.4 million savings for state government.

Citing studies from the Pew Charitable Trust even the conservative Sheridan Press is urging the legislature to expand Medicaid coverage.

Because of the race hatred projected at an African American president and at American Indians another red moocher state South Dakota would rather die of cancer, mercury and lead poisoning instead of adopting Medicaid expansion.

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