Obamacare survives, but some rural hospitals may not

From the Bridge:

Rural hospitals are especially vulnerable because they tend to run on thin profit margins and shoulder a larger share of poor patients whose coverage was projected to shrink under health care changes recently pushed by the GOP in Washington.

“There would be significant loss of insurance in rural Michigan,” said Margaret Greenwood-Ericksen, a national clinician scholar and clinical lecturer at the University of Michigan Medical School. She co-authored a January analysis of ways that repeal of the ACA could impact rural America.

“That means people can’t get access to primary care, which is critical to preventing chronic conditions from getting worse. You have conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, which puts you at risk for stroke and heart attack,” Greenwood-Ericksen said.

And when more uninsured patients wind up in the hospital, Greenwood-Ericksen said, that strains the rural health care system by driving up the cost of uncompensated care the ACA was designed to reign in.

 

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