Public Option Would Threaten Over Half Of U.S. Rural Hospitals
WASHINGTON – Today, the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future released a one-pager highlighting key findings from a new study released by Navigant this week that warns that the public option could put more than 1,000 rural U.S. hospitals in 46 states “at high risk of closure.”
As reported by POLITICO, the study “warns adding a government-run insurance plan could decimate rural hospitals’ finances.”
“That argument centers on the conclusion that millions of enrollees would move off their commercial plans and into a public plan that pays hospitals at Medicare rates that are typically lower than private insurance – cutting rural hospitals’ revenues between $4.2 billion and $25.6 billion … ”
The study finds that as a result, “55 percent of rural hospitals could be at high risk of closing,” The Washington Post reports.
These at-risk rural hospitals represent more than 63,000 staffed beds and 420,000 employees. The study adds that even rural communities whose hospitals are not at “high-risk” of closure could face diminished quality of and access to care “through rural hospitals’ potential elimination of services and reduction of clinical and administrative staff,” under a public option. This new government-run system could also “damage the economic foundation of the communities these hospitals serve.”
To view the Partnership’s one-pager, CLICK HERE.