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January 17, 2013 Print

Take Action: Hospital, Hospice Feeling Obamacare Effects

by Bethany Monk

A Pennsylvania hospital announced this week it will stop delivering babies in March, citing staff changes and impending costs — some of which are related to Obamacare —among the reasons for cutting the program.

The Windber Medical Center, located about 60 miles outside of Pittsburgh, released a statement on its website Tuesday explaining that its obstetricians are relocating. It also states that hospital officials believe that recruiting a new team would not be feasible.

The hospital declined to comment further on the issues, but told CitizenLink that Obamacare was a contributing factor to closing the program.

Signed into law in March 2010, Obamacare requires companies to offer government approved health insurance to employees who work 30 hours or more a week. Businesses that choose not to comply face fines of up to $3,000 per employee.

Companies across the country are already preparing for the devastating effects of the law.

“As we get closer to 2014, when Obamacare gets fully implemented, we will start to see the effects of its provider reimbursement cuts and the employer mandate” requirements, said Alyene Senger, research assistant as the Heritage Foundation.

Just last week, Delaware Hospice laid off 52 employees. Susan Lloyd, the chief executive officer told Delaware Online the cuts were unavoidable.

“We really regret that these actions needed to be taken, and we are so empathetic to the workers,” Lloyd said. “The decision was not made lightly, and it is a direct result of a consequential decline in census and the need to position the organization to meet additional changes and challenges that the hospice industry anticipates with the health care reform.”

These cuts were related to changes in the way Medicare reimburses hospice providers. Some of the care that previously qualified for reimbursement under Medicare is no longer covered.

Medicare is looking more closely at every provider.

“They are paying a lot of attention to it now,” she said, “and partially because they are looking for resources now in order to fund health care reform.”

Write Obama about the dangers of the new health care law.
Write an email to the White House explaining that ObamaCare is increasing health care costs for businesses, which results in fewer full-time employees, reduced worker income and less profitable businesses.

Read the hospital’s statement.

Read “Will ObamaCare Go the Way of Prohibition?”