Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, the worst governor in the nation, vetoed Medicaid expansion earlier this month and the disastrous results are already being felt.
St. Francis Health, a hospital not far from the location where Brownback vetoed Medicaid expansion, has announced that it will close because of the governor's veto.
Its owner, Denver-based SCL Health, said Tuesday it will cease operation this summer but will try to find a new operator. It said the hospital had lost $117 million over five years, and the number of patients had decreased dramatically.
“Additionally, without expanded Medicaid coverage and other challenges related to public programs, St. Francis experienced added pressure,” the company said, adding that uncompensated and charity care more than doubled from 2012 to 2016.
One of the primary goals of Obamacare was to reduce the amount of money we spend on healthcare by reducing the amount of uncompensated care. Medicaid expansion went a long way toward closing the gap, but that obviously doesn't apply if your state refuses to expand Medicaid.
St. Francis Health is far from the only local provider facing financial stress according to this excellent report from The Wichita Eagle, and the local medical community appears to be overwhelmingly in favor of expanding Medicaid, but the state legislature fell just 3 votes short of overriding Brownback's veto.
Brownback says Medicaid expansion is "irresponsible and unsustainable," which actually perfectly describes his own behavior.
If another operator does not take over St. Francis Health in the coming months, over 1,600 employees will lose their jobs.