Back in 2008, one of the biggest arguments in favor of Obamacare was that the legislation would help alleviate bad debt at hospitals created by people who required emergency care but didn't have health insurance or the financial means to cover their treatment.  Of course, like most promises made about Obamacare, the exact opposite of the Left's original theories has played out in reality as restructuring lawyers are now warning that the healthcare industry is about to experience a massive wave of hospital bankruptcies.  Per Bloomberg:

A wave of hospitals and other medical companies are likely to restructure their debt or file for bankruptcy in the coming year, following the recent spate of failing retailers and energy drillers, according to restructuring professionals. Regulatory changes, technological advances and the rise of urgent-care centers have created a "perfect storm" for health-care companies, said David Neier, a partner in the New York office of law firm Winston & Strawn LLC.

 

Some signs are already there: Health-care bankruptcy filings have more than tripled this year according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and an index of Chapter 11 filings by companies with more than $1 million of assets has reached record highs in four of the last six quarters, according to law firm Polsinelli PC. Junk bonds from companies in the industry have dropped 1.4 percent this month, a steeper decline than the broader high-yield market, according to Bloomberg Barclays index data.

 

Since 1997, health-care cases have made up only 5.25 percent of all U.S. bankruptcy filings, according to Bloomberg data. Year to date, they already comprise 7.25 percent of all filings. Emergency-room operator Adeptus Health, cancer-care provider 21st Century Oncology, and cancer treatment specialist California Proton Treatment are the largest filings. Those statistics exclude pharmaceutical company Concordia, which is restructuring in Canada, and Preferred Care Inc., one of the U.S.’s largest nursing home groups, operating 108 assisted living facilities.

So what has caused the sudden onset of hospital failures?  Well, because Obamacare's architects were so certain their legislation would completely eliminate uninsured citizens in the U.S., they decided to offset the costs of the "Affordable Care Act" by eliminating subsidy payments to hospitals that had previously been used to cover losses from treating uninsured patients...

Hospitals, including private rural ones, may be among the hardest hit, Winston & Strawn’s Neier said. The Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, reduced payments to hospitals that serve a large number of poor and uninsured patients, known as "disproportionate share hospitals," on the theory that more patients would be insured under the law. Congress delayed those cuts several times, but didn’t do so for the current fiscal year, which may "single-handedly throw hospitals into immediate financial distress -- many operate on less than one day’s cash,” he said in an interview.

 

"Smaller hospitals have already been struggling for years,” said Kristin Going, a partner in the New York office of Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP. Both lawyers declined to discuss specific companies. Since 2010, a growing number of patients have enrolled in high-deductible health plans that force them to shoulder more of costs when they get treatment, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That has translated into more bad debt from customers for hospitals and other providers.

 

Some publicly traded hospital companies that were already under pressure from high debt loads have been further buffeted by this year’s hurricanes. Community Health Systems Inc., with $1.9 billion in debt maturing in 2019, has suffered doctor revolts over crumbling, cash-strapped facilities, as well as losses linked to the storms in Texas and Florida earlier this year. A representative for Community Health didn’t return a call seeking comment.

...of course, here in reality, things didn't quite play out so perfectly as surging Obamacare premiums have pushed more and more people into  high deductible plans or have forced them to forego insurance altogether and opt instead to simply pay the tax penalties levied by the legislation.  Shocking that folks could simply absorb a doubling of their healthcare premiums in 4 years.

Just more proof that Obamacare is working perfectly and should be left just as it is...

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-28/obamacare-set-drive-new-wa...

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Seems that Obamacare has done for small hospitals what Dodd-Frank did for community banks.  Forced adsorption by larger entities that are better able to tolerate the cost of government red tape.  It also makes it easier for the socialists to control our institutions when there are fewer of them to deal with.

You said that perfectly. I still can not believe that the Republicans did not repeal this mess. It gets worse by the day. 

Unless this is reversed, and soon, a lot of hospitals will close, as well as small doctors practices too. 

Senate GOP repeals ObamaCare mandate

Senate Republicans have approved the repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate as part of their tax-cut bill, a major step forward toward ending an unpopular part of the healthcare law.

“Families ought to be able to make decisions about what they want to buy and what works for them –not the government,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said, hailing the accomplishment.

“I believe if people don’t want to buy the Obamacare insurance, they shouldn’t have to pay a tax penalty to the IRS.”

The Senate tax bill must still be reconciled with House legislation that does not include the mandate’s repeal. But that is unlikely to be a major issue given support in the GOP conference for repealing the mandate.

No Democrats in either chamber voted for the GOP tax bills.

It’s unclear what repeal of the mandate will mean for ObamaCare.

Many experts and healthcare groups warn that repeal will destabilize ObamaCare markets, leading to premium increases or insurers simply dropping out of certain areas. Without a f


inancial penalty under the mandate for lacking health coverage, there is less incentive for healthy people to sign up and balance out the costs of the sick.

Some experts counter that the effects will not be as severe as others say, given that there are doubts the mandate had a strong effect on people to begin with.

Moderate Republicans are now pushing for bipartisan ObamaCare fixes to help stabilize insurance markets, setting up a showdown with conservatives.

The mandate’s repeal was not part of the original tax reform measure released by the Senate Finance Committee, and Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) previously said he wanted to keep the divisive health care issue separate from taxes.

But President Trump, along with Senate conservatives such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), made a vocal public push for its inclusion.

Repealing the mandate also saves $300 billion over ten years in subsidies that otherwise would have been spent on consumers, according to the Congressional Budget Office, providing savings for the tax cuts.

The CBO estimates that 13 million fewer people will have health insurance over the next decade without the mandate, and it projects that premiums will rise 10 percent. But it also projects markets will remain stable in “almost all areas of the country.”

While three Republican senators, John McCain (R-Ariz.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) defeated an ObamaCare repeal bill over the summer that included mandate repeal, this time they put aside their concerns.

Murkowski wrote that repealing the mandate didn’t hurt the structure of the health law, but allowed people the “freedom” to choose whether to enroll in the healthcare law,..

Collins said she had won a commitment from Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to pass two bipartisan ObamaCare fixes before the end of the year. She hopes those bills will counteract the increase in premiums from mandate repeal.

One of the bills, from Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray(D-Wash.) funds key payments to insurers, while the other measure provides funding known as reinsurance to pay for some sick people’s claims and help bring down premiums.

The Alexander-Murray bill does not directly deal with the effects of repealing the mandate, and some experts argue there would have to be more reinsurance funding than currently proposed to make up for mandate repeal.

It’s unclear if either fix will actually become law, as House conservatives oppose the measures as propping up ObamaCare.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), a member of the moderate Tuesday Group, said he supports passing Alexander-Murray to try to counteract the premium increases from mandate repeal. But he acknowledged conservatives oppose that move, meaning he thinks the initial House version of a government funding bill will not have the health fix attached.

He thinks the Senate will add it later, setting up a choice for the House.  

“They'll toss it back to us and either you take it like that or you shut the government down,” Upton said.

Trump appears eager to return to the full repeal and replacement push after the final tax bill passes.

“We will Repeal & Replace and have great Healthcare soon after Tax Cuts!” he tweeted in late October.

GOP leaders have not committed to revisiting the issue in an election year, though Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said he thought mandate repeal brings full repeal and replacement a step closer.

“I think it's going to make our third attempt at health care reform easier,” Kennedy said.


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