More on Affordable Care Act’s war on the poor. Liberal / Progressive social engineering yield very Illiberal / Reactionary outcomes.
An accompanying editorial by Katherine Neuhausen, a family physician at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Mitchell H. Katz, director of the Los Angeles County of Public Health Services, warns that the financial losses could push safety net hospitals “closer to the brink of bankruptcy,” especially since the 2010 federal health law in October 2013 will start reducing special payments to hospitals that treat disproportionately large numbers of poor people.
“Safety-net hospitals that are already drained by the DSH [disproportionate share payment] reductions are likely to lose additional funds under this program, leaving them without any capital to launch initiatives to improve quality and patient experience. Over time, VBP [value-based purchasing] could worsen the disparities between prosperous non-SNHs and struggling SNHs. It would be a tragedy if the combined stressors of the DSH cuts and VBP trigger the closures of SNHs. These hospitals will still be needed to care for the estimated 23 million individuals who will remain uninsured even if health care reform is fully implemented…. The closures of SNHs would also be detrimental to the millions of insured Americans who rely on them for specialized services such as trauma care, disaster relief, burn treatment, neonatal intensive care, psychiatric care, and substance abuse treatment. These unprofitable services are more likely to be offered by SNHs than non-SNHs.”