As Obamacare repeal looms, OHSU to 'significantly reduce' hiring

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  • #26204
    Vitalogy
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    In anticipation of funding cuts and amid general uncertainty about the state of federal health reform, Oregon Health & Science University plans to “significantly reduce” its hiring, university President Dr. Joe Robertson said today.

    “It’s almost a freeze,” Robertson said.
    The move will save somewhere in the “tens of millions of dollars,” though it’s a little too early to specify how much, as the board won’t approve the next fiscal year budget until June.

    Robertson emphasized that the move is proactive in light of a macro environment that promises “significant reductions in essential funding streams for OHSU, for Medicaid and potentially, cuts for other funding streams embedded in ways people don’t realize.”

    Senate Republicans on Thursday took the first major step in repealing the Affordable Care Act by approving a budget blueprint that essentially guts the law, while sidestepping a filibuster threat from Democrats.

    President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday the law should be repealed and replaced simultaneously. He plans to put forth more details once Rep. Tom Price, a Republican from Georgia, is confirmed as the new secretary of health and human services.

    More than 20 million people have obtained coverage under the ACA, including 550,000 in Oregon, mostly from the Medicaid expansion, but also from the health insurance exchange. The reduction in Oregon’s uninsured to 5 percent from about 14 percent previously has been a boon to hospitals such as OHSU, which have seen their charity care and bad debt plummet.

    http://www.kgw.com/news/health/as-obamacare-repeal-looms-ohsu-to-significantly-reduce-hiring/385597527

    I’m not convinced that Obamacare will be repealed, but even the uncertainty of it is already causing trouble within the healthcare industry. I expect this to sweep across other healthcare organizations as well. And the GOP will own the losses. You break it, you buy it!!

    #26207
    paulwalker
    Participant

    I think Obamacare is a flash point, but also a no-win for the GOP. I think this is one issue where compromise will come into play, as they move through it. The GOP can’t afford to blow up the plan, pure and simple. What they really are trying to do is to re-work Obama care into something they can say is their own. I think the end result will be a similar plan, with some changes for “image”, but still offering basically the same plan. All redefinitions and optics.

    #26211
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    It’s not just the healthcare industry, it will effect the tech sector, big pharma and big data. The reduction in money flowing in from the government will necessitate price increases and payroll cuts to keep profits up.

    #26213
    Andrew
    Participant

    Let’s hope so, Paul!

    But there are an awful lot of voters out there who HATE the ACA Mandate requiring them to buy insurance, and those people are going to be pretty angry if the Mandate isn’t repealed.

    And the Mandate is required to make the whole ACA work. Without it, many people simply won’t buy insurance, not enough healthy people will participate in the health care exchanges, prices will go up, and the exchanges will go into death spirals.

    It seems more likely to me that the Republicans will keep weakening the ACA until costs go out of control, and then even Democrats will be begging Republicans to kill it. Then Republicans can say, “See? We told you it wouldn’t work!” (even though they slyly made sure it wouldn’t work.) and come out smelling like a rose.

    People like Marco Rubio have already kneecapped the ACA in small ways that have caused insurers to flee the market and send prices higher:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/10/us/politics/marco-rubio-obamacare-affordable-care-act.html

    But how much major media coverage did this get, besides a few wonky stories like this one? How likely is it that uninformed members of the general public blame Republicans for these subtle moves?

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