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Obamacare Reduces Hospital Costs

Posted on December 1, 2012 by admin

Some Americans have a negative perception of the Affordable Care Act, and its influence on job loss and their tax dollars. With upcoming midterm elections to be held November 4, and the beginning of the next health insurance enrollment period to start on November 15, Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell is trying to shed a more positive on the ACA.

In a recent statement, Secretary Burwell said that because of Obamacare, “We project that hospitals will save $5.7 billion in uncompensated care costs this year.”

You may be wondering where these savings are coming from. According to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, those hospitals located within the states that have accepted the Medicaid expansion will account for up to a reported $4.2 billion of the these savings.

Imagine if the states that continue to refuse the Medicaid expansion finally choose to accept the growth of the program. Uncompensated care is classified as the combined total of unpaid hospitals bills and charity care that is provided to patients with low incomes. Savings in this area would finally reach their full potential in this scenario, possibly reaching close to $10 billion.

In any case, savings in hospital costs is hardly the only factor that would be affected if the remaining states accepted an expansion of their Medicaid programs. Health insurance experts project that approximately 3.5 million more people could have health insurance coverage as well.

Should these state officials change their minds, enrollment numbers would exceed the Congressional Budget Office’s enrollee projections for next year and 2016. Currently estimating 13 million total enrollees in 2015 and 24 million the year after, these projections would be easily met and surpassed.

More than half of the country has expanded its Medicaid program, but with the decision to do so now proving beneficial to hospitals as well, the list of benefits to the expansion grows, raising the question once again: Why do certain states continue to refuse the federal government’s offer?