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Tiffin Mercy Hospital, among others in Ohio, could be at risk for closure




TIFFIN, OH ( News) — This week oral arguments began at a federal court for Texas v. United States, the lawsuit to throw out the entire Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional. If the Trump administration succeeds in overturning the health care law, it would result in:

  • Nearly five million Ohioans with pre-existing conditions losing protections;
  • More than half a million Ohioans who are covered under the Medicaid expansion losing their health coverage;
  • As many as one-fourth of Ohio’s hospitals at risk for closure.

Ohio Democrats spoke out at events in Springfield, Zanesville, Steubenville, Toledo and Columbus to highlight what’s at stake.

“Donald Trump has broken his health care promises, and the people of Ohio are already paying the price. He promised he would bring the cost of health care down, but his toxic agenda has actually caused premiums to go up by hundreds of dollars for Ohioans and the state’s uninsured rate to go up,” Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper said.

Now, Democrats say Trump is putting even more Ohioans’ health care and jobs at risk with this lawsuit.

“The 2020 election is going to be about health care — Trump wants to take away coverage and protections from millions of Ohioans, while Democrats are united in fighting to protect and strengthen our health care law, lower health care costs and improve quality,” Pepper continued.

Republicans in the U.S. Senate don’t appear to be sweating the likelihood of such a scenario, however. Some are pinning their hopes on the courts to reject the challenge, which is backed by the Trump administration, on the grounds that it isn’t serious and is legally moot.

Still, the latest challenge to the law has advanced in the courts despite widespread derision from legal experts, including conservatives who helped construct and argue previous challenges to the ACA.

It stands a good chance of being taken up by the Supreme Court next year, smack dab in the middle of the 2020 presidential election, creating another headache for the GOP.

If the Trump administration succeeds in overturning the health care law, key support for rural hospitals would disappear, leaving our hospitals on the hook for $1.9 billion more in uncompensated care costs.

Hospitals are huge economic engines and employers in many counties across the state, including here. In Seneca County, our hospital is a critical part of our health care safety net and a big employer. If we lose Tiffin Mercy Hospital, we lose jobs and access to emergency care, maternity care, cardiac care and so much more.

Republicans have tried over and over again to coalesce around a cheaper and less government-focused replacement for Obamacare, and they’ve failed every time. Cobbling together a plan that preserves some of the most popular parts of the law ― such as its guarantees of coverage for people with preexisting conditions, expanded Medicaid coverage, and provisions allowing young people to remain on their parents’ policy until the age of 26 ― without a mechanism like Obamacare is extremely difficult, and maybe even impossible, a fact that even some Republicans acknowledge.

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