UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn is speaking further to the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees about the medical center’s tight finances and the damage that would be caused if the legislature doesn’t approve continuation of the Obamacare-financed Medicaid expansion here (so-called private option).
Joann Coleman of Little Rock, who’s sitting in on the meeting, reports by e-mail that Rahn painted a devastating potential — closure of medical center services, reducing patient care at regional clinics, a reduction in residencies.
The Board wants a specific report on cuts before the legislative session. Rahn notes that the loss of the Medicaid expansion will have broader state budget impact and could force still more cuts to UAMS than just the reduction in money received through the Medicaid expansion.
This same story can be written for medical institutions all over Arkansas, the people who work there and the people who make a living serving them in uncounted ways. Oh, and yes, there are some quarter-of-a-million people who’d loss newly found health insurance coverage. Some of them will simply die, so there is THAT savings to come if a rump group of senators and representatives (all Republicans) succeed in strangling government.
Rahn told the Board yesterday that UAMS already was looking at a $35 million deficit next year at existing funding levels and that the deficit could jump to almost $100 million if Obamacare money is lost.