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The Facts on Arkansas Hospital Finances

About a week ago, Representative Doug House sent a mass email to fifty of his House Republican colleagues, and then it found its way into my inbox. I think it’s a response to the paper that AAI published earlier this month called “The Cure Is Worse Than the Disease: Why the Private Option Will Hurt, Not Help, Arkansas’s Hospitals.” 

In response to House’s response, the Advance Arkansas Institute prepared this brief paper and distributed it to all House members yesterday.

Rep. House’s email, as I understand it, argues that the “private” option – Arkansas’s version of Obamacare-Medicaid expansion – has nothing to do with Medicaid reimbursements, and that the vast majority of Arkansas hospitals who are facing severe financial danger will have their problems solved by the private option. I’m not sure if I can aptly summarize every argument in House’s email, so we’ve reproduced it here. And, of course, you can see AAI’s response to House’s email – “The Question That Private Option Advocates Cannot Answer” – here.

Although some advocates of Medicaid expansion have been arguing that Arkansas hospitals are losing money en masse, as far as I know AAI is the only organization to run the numbers. Even when we used the data that Rep. House relied on, we found that -- as a whole -- Arkansas hospitals, both the non-profit and for-profit kind, continue to be net revenue generators. 

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