A bill that would help hospitals pay for charity care is making its way through the House of Representatives. It would give hospitals 5 million dollars to help cover the cost of unpaid medical bills.
But House Appropriations Chairman Steve Harshman says the dollar amount is arbitrary and that the state needs a better plan to solve the problem. Green River Democrat Stan Blake says Medicaid Expansion would have addressed the problem, but legislators killed that bill earlier in the session. Blake says that left this bill as the only way to help.
“We could have fixed this quite a while ago, we decided not to. We are sending money to the federal government and are getting nothing back. Now we are going to take out money and try to fix this problem.”
The House gave initial approval to the bill after defeating an amendment that would have reduced the appropriation to 3-point-3 million dollars. It will be debated two more times.