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News Link • Obamacare

Fourth Georgia hospital closes due to Obamacare payment cuts

•, Sarah Hurtubise
 The Lower Oconee Community Hospital is, for now, a critical access hospital in southeastern Georgia that holds 25 beds. The hospital is suffering from serious cash-flow problems, largely due to the area’s 23 percent uninsured population, and hopes to reopen as “some kind of urgent care center,” CEO Karen O’Neal said.

Many hospitals in the 25 states that rejected the Medicaid expansion are facing similar financial problems. Liberal administration ally Think Progress has already faulted Georgia for not expanding Medicaid as Obamacare envisioned.

But the reality is more complicated. The federal government has historically made payments to hospitals to cover the cost of uninsured patients seeking free medical care in emergency rooms, as federal law mandates that hospitals must care for all patients regardless of their ability to pay.

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