MeritCare officials say Frontier State amendment needs to stay in the health care reform billFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A section in the health care reform bill would cut millions of dollars to small states. MeritCare officials say an amendment needs to stay in the bill to lessen the burden in places like Fargo.
By: Stephanie Goetz, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A section in the health care reform bill would cut millions of dollars to small states. MeritCare officials say an amendment needs to stay in the bill to lessen the burden in places like Fargo.
By not having this amendment in the health care bill, it could mean eventual cutting of services at places like MeritCare and others throughout the state. That's because if would decrease the Medicare reimbursement increases in small states in future years.
"So what's happening in North Dakota is the commercial rates are way down here..."
In the current bill, it would cut four to five hundred million dollars in Medicare reimbursement nationwide. For MeritCare, that means about five million dollars less each year.
The Frontier State Strategy amendment, which affects a handful of small states including North and South Dakota, would lessen the impact on these states. It would give MeritCare 18 - 20 million dollars a year. Money, officials say, is needed to avoid cutting people and services.
"This component here is a good thing for health care in North Dakota, period. It's very good and that's why we're standing here, otherwise we wouldn't be standing here and that's something we've been working on for years and years and years."
Hospital officials say they are cautiously optimistic that this amendment will stay in the health care bill, which will be voted on Christmas Eve. Doctor Gilberston says he's concerned with the cost of the overall bill and says it's too broad to ensure quality and affordable healthcare.