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Bills stalled, hospitals fear rising unpaid care

New York Times, February 9, 2010

For the nation's hospitals, the cost of doing nothing in health reform translates into tens of billions of dollars each year in medical bills that go unpaid by patients with little or no insurance, the New York Times reports. Nationwide, the cost of unpaid care for hospitals, which includes charity care as well as money that could not be collected from patients, was around $36 billion in 2008, and is expected to get higher. The number of people without insurance in the U.S. could increase to as high as 58 million by 2014, from about 49 million now, according to an estimate by the Urban Institute.