Gary Gore

Medicaid expansion is the topic of the Tuesday, June 4, meeting of the Marshall County Democratic Club. The effects on rural healthcare as well as the economic impact to our county will be addressed by Gary Gore, Chief Executive Officer of Marshall Health System, with hospitals located in Guntersville (Marshall Medical Center North) and Boaz (Marshall Medical Center South) Alabama.

Alabama is currently one of only 14 states that have not expanded Medicaid, putting it in a precarious position with the upcoming federal cuts to hospitals scheduled to take effect on October 1.

“When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, the assumption was that states would expand Medicaid to help cover the uninsured. So to help offset the costs of expansion, Congress mandated cuts in payments hospitals receive to cover the cost of the uninsured,” said Susan McKenney, local Democratic Party Chairwoman.

“According to the Alabama Hospital Association, Alabama’s hospitals are scheduled to lose $119 million in federal funding unless Congress takes action. Those are critical dollars for us as our hospitals currently spend more than $500 million each year in care for which they receive no reimbursement. In fact, three-fourths of our hospitals are currently operating in the red, and 12 hospitals have closed over the last 8 years. For many, the additional cuts won’t be sustainable. Providing insurance through Medicaid expansion is vital to maintain access to care for everyone.”

The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the Guntersville Public Library annex, 1240 Obrig Avenue. The public is invited. Please make a reservation by calling 256-558-1927 by Saturday, June 1. Seating is limited.

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