March 18, 2019 | Updates

Study: Medicare For All-Style Proposals Threaten To “Force The Closure Of Essential Hospitals”

Resulting “Financial Peril” Would Limit Patient Services

WASHINGTON – A new study finds that America’s hospitals “could face financial peril under Medicare expansion scenarios” such as Medicare for all, Medicare-X, Medicare buy-in or public option, POLITICO reports – harming vulnerable patients throughout the country in the process.

The study, conducted by Navigant Consulting, concludes that Medicare for all-style proposals could force hospitals to limit the care they provide, drive significant “layoffs” and “potentially force the closure of essential hospitals.”  Because the “capacity to reduce/manage cost will vary markedly from system to system and hospital to hospital,” the report finds single-payer proposals “appear to have financial effects that exceed the capacity of hospital managements to reduce their expenses.”

As POLITICO notes, “hospitals already are facing financial challenges given the aging population and the increasing share of Medicare patients,” and Medicare for all-style proposals “‘would potentially accelerate those headwinds significantly,’ said Navigant’s Jeff Leibach.”

The Navigant report comes on the heels of another study which found that under a Medicare “buy-in” or public option proposal, hospitals would be hit by $774 billion in cuts, which would “compound financial stresses already faced by the nation’s hospitals, potentially impacting access to care and provider quality,” hurting vulnerable patients throughout the country. 

The previous study, conducted by KNG Health Consulting for the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Federation of American Hospitals (FAH), also found that implementation of such a Medicare for all-style proposal would result in nearly four million fewer Americans receiving health care coverage than if our existing health care system were simply shored up.  It found that access to health insurance could be expanded to more than nine million Americans by using the tools available within our current system, like expanding Medicaid and boosting Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment.


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