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Obamacare advocate cites WV hospital savings

BECKLEY, W.Va. — With more than 200,000 West Virginians enrolled for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, data from the West Virginia Health Care Authority shows that 25 hospitals across the state saved $265 million last year in uncompensated health care.

Perry Bryant, founder and former director of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, said hospitals are providing less for charity care and experiencing lower bad debt, including hospitals in the Beckley area.

 Raleigh General Hospital saw a $12.9 million decrease in uncompensated care, Bryant said, a 55.4 percent reduction between 2013, before the ACA expansion, and 2014, after the expansion.

Beckley-Appalachian Regional Healthcare saw a reduction of $2.3 million, or 17.7 percent.

Bryant said seven additional hospitals have not yet reported their savings, which could potentially push the statewide savings to more than $300 million.

The number of uninsured has plummeted due to the expansion of coverage under the ACA, including the expansion of Medicaid, creation of health insurance exchanges where people can purchase private policies, and allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ policies, Bryant said.

“This windfall of savings is an once-in-a-lifetime moment…


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