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NAPH Chief Warns of 'Disaster' if States Don't Expand Medicaid

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, July 26, 2012

HLM: How many safety net hospitals are in states that indicate they won't expand their Medicaid programs?

Siegel: My educated estimate is that there are hundreds of hospitals that will be impacted. And there's a lot in the south because that's where the potential impact is here. The south and in Texas. They are critical places.

HLM: Do hospitals have any clout they can use to make this point?

Siegel: A lot will depend on the united front in these states with their state leaders. If they do that, because it's the right thing for patients, they'll have a better shot. But it's going to be a real uphill battle in some states, because for some governors, not expanding will be their badge of courage. They will proudly not expand out of principle.

HLM: Do you have any direct comments from your members you can share about the impact they see?

Siegel: One member told me today that if we don't expand Medicaid, and we have DSH cuts, we will close our doors. This was in a Western state.



Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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