Alabama's rural hospitals fear "immediate" closure

Officials at Alabama's rural hospitals warn that a dozen hospitals in the state are at risk of closure in the near future. The political environment there is hostile to medicaid expansion, the insurance-based business model is otherwise broken, and staff are eager to find work elsewhere.

Nearly 300,000 low-income Alabamians fall into this coverage gap because they make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to afford private health insurance. Alabama is one of 10 states that has yet to expand Medicaid, whereas 41 other states, including D.C. have adopted Medicaid expansion. Howard says Alabama's hospitals provide more than $650 million in uncompensated care every single year, and the math for staying open doesn't add up…. If people think their hospital is on the verge of closing its doors, staffers will look for other jobs.

There's a certain grim humor to be found in how measured and understated everyone has to be in reportage about rural hospitals when the between-the-lines sentiment falls somewhere near "would rather intern in Gaza than Alabama."

Previously: Hospitals illegally refusing to provide itemized bills