Senate Bill 681 is entitled the “Rural Health Care Stabilization Act.” It is a bill that provides an $18 million dollar “bailout” for rural hospitals in financial peril outside of the UNC Healthcare system that have been affected by the stalemating of certain NCGA lawmakers in expanding Medicaid.
Simply put, people like Sen. Phil Berger and Sen. Jerry Tillman want to spend 18 million dollars of taxpayer money to “help” a small number of rural hospitals with a “Band-Aid” when simply expanding Medicaid that would be of no cost to NC taxpayers would benefit every rural hospital greatly and provide healthcare benefits for half a million people in the state.
And as a state we are already paying into the Medicaid national funds. Expanding Medicaid in NC would simply keep some of that money here in NC to help North Carolinians and rural hospitals.
So, should we spend 18 million dollars to bail out maybe a couple of rural hospitals for a short time and keep people without healthcare benefits or expand Medicaid at no more expense to the state and cover another 500,000 North Carolinians and help all rural hospitals stay open?
That is a question that should never have to be asked, but we have many in power who place personalities before principles.