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Report: Medicare “Public Option” Leaves No Option for Rural Health Care


08.20.19

WASHINGTON, DC – Call it a “public option,” “Medicare for America,” or “Medicare for All Who Want It” – any of the wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing disguises for government-run health care all mean the same thing: worse health care for Americans.

A recently-published report confirms as much, finding that a Medicare public option would limit health care choices in rural America.

A public option “could place as many as 55% of rural hospitals, or 1,037 hospitals across 46 states, at high risk of closure,” according to the report conducted by Navigant. The report goes on to note that these “rural hospitals at high risk represent more than 63,000 staffed beds and 420,000 employees.”

Bottom line: Under a so-called “public option” – just like all of the Medicare for All-lite proposals – patient control is lost, jobs are threatened, and a one-size-fits-all, government-run health care system fails Americans.

The Potential Impact of a Medicare Public Option on U.S. Rural Hospitals and Communities

By Jeff Goldsmith and Jeff Leibach, Navigant

August 7, 2019

A new analysis of U.S. rural hospitals has found that offering a government insurance program reimbursing at Medicare rates as a public option on the health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could place as many as 55% of rural hospitals, or 1,037 hospitals across 46 states, at high risk of closure. The rural hospitals at high risk represent more than 63,000 staffed beds and 420,000 employees, according to the analysis by Navigant Consulting, Inc.

Even those rural hospitals not at high risk of closure and the communities they serve face an increased threat. The availability of a public option could negatively impact access to and quality of care through rural hospitals’ potential elimination of services and reduction of clinical and administrative staff, as well as damage the economic foundation of the communities these hospitals serve.

The analysis, supported by the Partnership for America’s Healthcare Future, incorporated three scenarios in which the availability of a Medicare public insurance option would induce a shift of patients from higher-paying commercial plans, driving down rural hospital net revenue and negatively impacting the communities they serve.

Click here to read the full report


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Health (116th Congress)
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