Medicaid, Fort Scott, Kansas discussed on 1A



This is one A. I'm Joshua Johnson. In Washington healthcare can be hard enough to get in rural America. Now, it is getting harder with hospitals closing down. Nearly a hundred rural hospitals have closed in the past decade. Another six hundred are at risk. Many are in the fourteen states that have not expanded Medicaid, but is expanding Medicaid. The solution. Is it that simple? Or is something bigger happening. How are these hospital closures affecting conservative lawmakers who opposed Medicaid expansion in their states our new project one a across America headed to fort Scott, Kansas a town of about eight thousand people mercy health system stopped running that towns hospital on New Year's Eve now the one hundred seventy one bed facility sits mostly empty longtime resident Janice few inns is a retired teacher. She gave one as James Morrison a tour of her town and the hospital if you need to move that seek. Can just with only side. Sure. Yeah. There's a it's just an automatic to just, you know, back automatically do you need more room. No, this is fine. Well, it'll be interesting for you to see the little town. We. Kind of struggled through that recession. You know, the began in two thousand eight things just start to build up. Then something will go out. And we go. Hoping. This is somebody came in just last year him really fixed that up put a new price chopper, and it's only been there year. Now, they're already leaving. And everybody's just like mercy said they were closing. And then then just a few months later price chopper's close. Now, this is the big industry is peerless products. They manufacture windows for commercial buildings, and they just added that large building back there. The old hospital was right up on that hill. And I think I told you that they before they were going to tear it down the community came and formed a circle around. Everybody held hands. We brought our kids too because they were all three born there. We wanted them to remember where they were boring because that was going to be gone. Now, some doctors offices will remain at fort Scott's hospital, a private physical therapy company has moved in. And mercy health system says it will keep the emergency room open through this month jenness few and says, she's hopeful that city leaders will find a replacement hospital operator, she's a registered Republican who says she supports expanding Medicaid in Kansas. When you still have our emergency services. Thankfully, that was the first thing we all worried about is what happens when something. Traumatic cabins to us. So that's still going to be here. I believe and then the doctor's offices are still going to be here. So it seems like there's still some operations going on outside of the emergency room here. Yes. But it's not nearly as much as used to go on. Yes. Basically what we're missing is. For instance, my husband had to have gallbladder surgery, and you know, that comes on quickly, and we could come in here, and he had it within an hour having the attack that's going to be gone. Now, if he had it we'd have to get an EMMY and listen drive, thirty miles to get to a hospital and us in particular, the doctor who did that is not here any longer. So we'd have to go and get a new doctor. When was it that you learned that the the hospital was going to close here? Oh, I think it was right before Christmas. So it was quick than a month. Until I knew like a lot of the discussion around like, the hospitals closing is would expanding Medicaid help it out has there been any discussion of that. Or do you think that that would have helped a hospital? It would have helped some because I think it was would have meant two point one million or something like that for this hospital a year in that wouldn't have been enough to save it they say, but it probably would have helped and part of the. Mercy said that the hospital wasn't being used enough. Well, isn't it's underutilized because the people can't afford to come the ones who would have qualified for the Medicare expansion would have been able to. Imagine you talked a lot of people spin around town..

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