“I just hope that in the process the state will consult with the hospitals,” said Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said at a Tuesday hearing on the law's provider impacts by the Oversight and Government Reform's Health Care and District of Columbia Subcommittee. “They may be one of the victims in all of the play back and forth.”
Norton said she was concerned that especially urban and rural hospitals would suffer financially in states that rejected the expansion from having to care for higher number of indigent patients.
Although Republicans remained critical of the law's expansion of a program some deride as “failed,” some gave limited support to states' consulting hospitals before rejecting the expansion.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chairman of the subcommittee, said in an interview after the hearing that states should consult all affected parties before deciding on the expansion. However, hospital's financial position should not be the deciding factor, said the former hospital board member.
“Hospitals, particularly some hospitals, have investors and shareholders just like any other corporation and I'm not sure the pursuit of profit should be your number one goal when it comes to healthcare,” Gowdy said.
Gowdy, like many other outspoken Republican opponents of the healthcare overhaul, declined to provide an opinion on his state's recent decision to reject the Medicaid expansion.