Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove: BCRA will put hospitals in 'very deep financial trouble'

Senate Republicans' proposal to repeal and replace the ACA with the Better Care Reconciliation Act is expected to cause millions of Americans to lose healthcare coverage. Hospitals that already operate on tight margins will find themselves picking up the "burden" of providing more uncompensated care to patients who lack insurance, Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove, MD, said on CNBC's "Squawk Box."

According to estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, the BCRA is expected to increase the number of uninsured Americans by 15 million next year and 22 million by 2026.

"If you have more patients coming in that are not [covered], you're going to have hospitals that are in very deep financial trouble," Dr. Cosgrove said. "And this is particularly true of rural hospitals and safety net hospitals, which are very dependent on Medicare and Medicaid for their returns."

Dr. Cosgrove said congressional Republicans' focus on payment reform instead of healthcare reform is misguided. Instead, they should be trying to identify the "root cause" of the rising costs of healthcare, he told CNBC.

"I think if we came together and deal with the root cause there'd be plenty of money to go around to look after people," Dr. Cosgrove said. "But if we don't deal with it now, we're going to have the same problem going 10 years from now."

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