Large Safety Net Hospitals May Be Hardest Hit If Health Bill Passes

Published: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 3:15pm
Updated: Thursday, July 6, 2017 - 1:20pm

The debate over health-care reform in Washington, D.C., has been heated — and partisan.

Talks will resume next week after the July 4 recess. Meanwhile, a national “Rally to Protect Health Care” will hold events in cities nationwide, including Phoenix and Tucson today.

Multiple advocacy organizations plan to hold a health-care town hall tonight in Phoenix at the Ability 360 Center. And U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva will hold another town hall in Tucson tomorrow.

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce has said the proposed Senate health bill would “blow a hole” in the state budget. Disability advocates here rallied against the bill, saying it would result in deaths, and hospital leaders are worried about their bottom line.

If this bill passes — and 22 million Americans are cut from the Medicaid rolls, as the Congressional Budget Office predicts — they say that many low-income families will lose insurance and their uncompensated care will skyrocket.

Large safety-net hospitals like Maricopa Integrated Health System in Phoenix may be some of the worst hit. We went to the emergency room to meet John Hitt, the chief medical officer, to talk about their concerns.

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