I've written before of the catastrophic awfulness of the Affordable Care Act. It's the ultimate Rube Goldberg device designed to keep the parasitic private health insurance companies in champagne and caviar. Now comes yet another "unintended consequence" of this awful law.
Many poor Americans rely on a network of "safety-net" hospitals. They are likely to lose access to critical health services as a direct result of Obamacare. The hospitals which make up this safety-net are losing important funding which reimburses them for uninsured care.
Now, in a perverse twist, many of the poor people who rely on safety-net hospitals like Memorial will be doubly unlucky. A government subsidy, little known outside health policy circles but critical to the hospitals’ survival, is being sharply reduced under the new health law.
The subsidy, which for years has helped defray the cost of uncompensated and undercompensated care, was cut substantially on the assumption that the hospitals would replace much of the lost income with payments for patients newly covered by Medicaid or private insurance. But now the hospitals in states like Georgia will get neither the new Medicaid patients nor most of the old subsidies, which many say are crucial to the mission of care for the poor.
“We were so thrilled when the law passed, but it has backfired,” said Lindsay Caulfield, senior vice president for planning and marketing at Grady Health in Atlanta, the largest safety-net hospital in Georgia.
It is now facing the loss of nearly half of its roughly $100 million in annual subsidies known as disproportionate share hospital payments."Perverse twist" indeed. These safety net hospitals are a necessary piece of healthcare delivery in a country which can't seem to get its healthcare head out of the Republican's ass. And, because of Obama and the Affordable Care Act these hospitals will be unable to to provide care for the most vulnerable members of our society.
Let's be clear, though. This isn't entirely Obama's fault. One of the pieces of this excessively complex legislation was left in the hands of the states: Medicaid expansion. Various dickweed Republican Governors (including our very own Scott Walker) refused to accept Medicaid expansion dollars and this has compounded the problem of these safety-net hospitals.
But the ultimate responsibility for this lies with Obama who decided, rather than pursue a Democratic healthcare path, decided to adopt a plan put forth by the vile Heritage Foundation in 1989.
So instead of Medicare for All or some other single-payer scheme, we have this. A death-spiral of EPIC FAIL.
When you lie down with Heritage dogs, you get Republican fleas. Well done, Obummer, well done.