The Affordable Care Act (I always laugh – or cry – when I read those words) has done a great job of complicating the lives of individuals and business owners, not to mention costing most people far more than they were previously paying for healthcare coverage.
But this is a law that has just begun to destroy lives and businesses. The latest victim appears to be hospitals in rural areas, where approximately 46 million Americans live. There is frequently only one medical facility for an entire community in rural areas, and about 60 percent of the funding for these hospitals comes from Medicare, with the rest provided by Medicaid or from general health insurance.
Patients at rural hospitals tend to be older and sicker than the general population, and budgets are very tight. So when the Obama Administration recently made cuts to Medicare reimbursement funding, it caused considerable concern for rural healthcare administrators.
In just a few short months, a deadline for upgrading to electronic medical records will be reached, and hospitals risk penalties if they’re not in compliance. Some of these rural hospitals still work on a pen and paper basis, and don’t have the time, staff or money to make these changes that quickly.
So, with Medicare being cut and healthcare facilities being unable to comply with the law in time, guess what’s happening? That’s right, rural hospitals are closing down. In fact, 18 of them closed in 2013, which is more than the number that closed in the 10 previous years combined.
What does this mean for rural Americans? It means longer drives to other healthcare facilities and longer wait times. And if it’s an emergency, forget about it. It’s very possible you won’t make it to the nearest facility on time.
As Midwest Medical Center CEO Tracy Bauer said in a Fox News article, “We’ve saved lives by being here and providing that access here, and a lot of times if we’re not here, those people unfortunately would not make it in time…so it’s really critical that we’re here, able to provide that care.”
Of course, this all fits perfectly into Obama’s master plan. His No. 1 goal with ObamaCare was not to make sure that everybody has healthcare insurance, but rather to make people dependent on the government for healthcare, and that’s the direction this thing is going.
And as far as the elderly in rural areas are concerned, well, Obama has made it clear that they are the least valuable members of society. What difference does it make if they don’t have the healthcare they need? He knows he can’t indoctrinate the elderly into his socialistic vision for the country, so he focuses on younger Americans and watches as the elderly slowly fade away.
Has there been any talk of hospitals closing in your area? Or maybe it’s already happened. Let me know what’s going on where you live.