Huntsville Hospital asks for public’s help fighting Medicaid cuts in state legislature

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - A Huntsville Hospital spokesperson says the budget plan that made it out of the House Ways and Means committee caught them off guard.

Huntsville Hospital VP of Communications Burr Ingram admits, "Well, this was a little bit stunning to everyone I think."

He says the cuts in the proposal -- over a $150 million -- are doubled because those funds are matched by federal dollars, "That's nearly half-a-billion dollars, and you can imagine that goes past the flesh. That goes into the bone."

Huntsville Hospital already has to provide a lot of free care for people who can't afford it.

Ingram points out, "We already provided last year over $60 million in uncompensated care. That's care that we didn't get any payment for."

If Medicaid funding gets slashed, that means more people showing up here that can't afford to pay. That makes services more expensive for everyone.

But this is a big urban facility. For rural hospitals, Ingram adds, "In your smaller, more rural counties, many in north Alabama and certainly throughout Alabama, Medicaid is the primary reimbursement. So if you were to hit it like this, it could close many of them easily. In fact, it would be shocking if they didn't."

Huntsville Hospital took to their Twitter page to ask for the public's support by contacting legislatures.

You can find all of the posts here.

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