Hospitals, Medical Centers, Urgent Medical Care providers, Urgent Care Clinics and Emergency Room providers have all spoken out against the Republican healthcare legislation being pushed through the senate in the current form.
Insurance companies would obviously benefit from the recent bill because it doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions but hospitals are also tied to this insurance industry and its practices so it is ironical that hospitals are against the legislation in overwhelming numbers. So why are hospitals opposing the bill and demanding that significant changes be incorporated into it?
First of all, let’s look at the bill itself. The bill aims to repeal and replace or simply repeal first, replace later; according to latest developments. A non-partisan Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that over 22 million people would stand to lose their health insurance if the current plan was passed in the Senate.
It is one of the most unpopular pieces of legislation that has ever been attempted to pass through the Senate. Approval ratings for the bill are around 20% and the ruling party is facing major challenges to pass it as more and more senators from their aisle have joined hands in opposing the bill in full force.
The major points of the bill include:
- Medicaid cuts of over billions of dollars in the coming years
- Insurers will be able to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions
- States would have freedom to choose for themselves
- Funding to planned parenthood will end
Now all of this, the bill’s supporters argue, is necessary to help balance the budget and slowly remove government regulations from the healthcare industry. But the consequences are so grave that it is being called “short sighted” and “heartless”.
However the bill is being opposed by the healthcare insurance and industry too. At first glance, the lesser regulation and the allowance for refusing patients with certain conditions will surely benefit insurers financially. Why is it that they are opposing this bill?
According to one Urgent Medical Care provider from New York, Statcare; Medicaid cuts and throwing people off insurance is an issue of big concern. Sure, the US healthcare industry exists for making profit for shareholders; but they are willing to treat all people as long as they are paid for it either brought Medicaid or by any other government program. It is also quite difficult to turn away a patient just because he or she doesn’t have the right healthcare plans. Medicaid helps hospitals in doing that and the big cuts would mean they would now have to send away a larger portion of the population that would actually need their services. That would hurt their bottom line and create an upset customer base.
Statcare, the urgent care provider operating in Brooklyn, NY and other locations believe that these cuts can even lead to more and more hospital closures; like the Fulton Medical Center in Missouri. It is a matter of survival for many small and medium healthcare providers and many of them will go under if the bill is passed in its current version.