Kentucky Hospitals Face $500M a Year in Costs for Uncompensated Care

While Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) rallies the Senate GOP to vote for repeal of the Affordable Care Act, he’s neglecting to share with folks in his home state just what the cost of his actions mean to them. Instead, “Republican members are trying to sneak grenades into the heart of the law, crafting modifications which they admit are meant to destroy it.[TPM]

The Florida court ruling has stoked the flames even more. Having the court find that the law is unconstitutional because of the insurance mandate may seem like a feather in their cap now. But what happens when folks at home start to see the ramifications of repeal?

Republicans seem to think that not telling the truth and grandstanding will continue to win the day for them. Even Mitt Romney is backpedaling on the mandate he built into health care reform when he was governor of Massachusetts in hopes of his bid to win the GOP presidential nomination.

The cost of no insurance mandate and its impact on hospitals for uncompensated care is the elephant in the room that no one seems to be talking about. According to the US House Energy and Commerce Committee (D) analysis, if repeal goes through, the cost to hospitals in Sen. McConnell’s home state of Kentucky for uncompensated care is $500 million dollars a year. If you add up the costs for each district in each state, the cost of uncompensated care nation-wide is mind-boggling.

If Republicans truly believe that we are in an economic crisis of unprecedented proportions (despite the job growth, the stock market rallying like never before in history, etc.,) then they should be seriously working with Democrats to effectively deal with the cost of uncompensated care.

Here’s a breakdown by Kentucky’s six districts of that $500 million dollar elephant in Senator McConnell’s living room:

  • District 1 (Represented by Ed Whitfield) – $95 million
  • District 2 (Represented by Brett Guthrie) – $65 million
  • District 3 (Represented by John Yarmouth) – $130 million
  • District 4 (Represented by Jeff Davis) – $53 million
  • District 5 (Represented by Harold Rogers) – $95 million
  • District 6 (Represented by Ben Chandler) – $62 million

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