Hospitals in Red States Continue Push for Medicaid Expansion

Republican-led states have mostly turned down the Medicaid expansion within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but hospitals have been fighting in those states to change the direction.

Starting this year, 26 states, as well as Washington D.C., are expanding their Medicaid programs, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Indiana and Pennsylvania are looking into expansion after 2014.

In Virginia, Terry McAuliffe (D) replaced Bob McDonnell (R) as governor, and hospitals are hoping the change in political party will lead to a reversal in the decision. The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association has lobbied the general assembly aggressively, arguing that Medicaid expansion would help the state's 107 hospitals avoid major losses and provide a line of crucial federal revenue, according to a Richmond Times-Dispatch report.

In a Herald Journal opinion piece, two Utah hospital CEOs — Mike Clark, CEO of Logan Regional Hospital, and John Worley, CEO of Cache Valley Hospital in North Logan — called for a "limited Medicaid expansion" that would expand the program to individuals who make up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level.

In a recent interview with Becker's Hospital Review, Greg Johnston, CFO and senior vice president of Baptist Health System in Birmingham, Ala., explained that the state's hospitals are "very disappointed" Alabama isn't expanding Medicaid. "We have a large number of residents of Alabama that would be covered if we were to do the expansion," Mr. Johnston said. "It would certainly help reduce the numbers of uninsured in the state."

More Articles on Medicaid Expansion:
How Will Medicaid Affect Hospitals in 2014? 3 Finance Leaders Respond
Staying Strong Under Pressure: Nonprofit Hospitals Discuss the Challenges and Opportunities of 2014
Should Hospitals Support Medicaid Expansion? Saint Joseph Mercy CEO Garry Faja Responds

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