A bill that would provide funding to help hospitals pay for charity care has been reduced. The bill started at ten million dollars in the Senate, but the House on Tuesday voted to cut funding down to one million dollars.
The money will now be targeted for small hospitals with under 25 beds. Several Representatives say all hospitals need help, but Cheyenne Republican Bob Nicholas countered that, without a study, it’s impossible to say what amount of help larger hospitals really need.
"People are saying we are trying to stop doors from closing. Well, I would just say if you have any hospital saying they will close their doors, raise your hand. Because nobody’s told me that. There is one or two hospitals that can really use some assistance and the million dollars does it, so it’s appropriate to take care of it."
Casper Republican Steve Harshman adds that the better approach is finding a way to provide preventive medicine and keep people out of emergency rooms. The bill will be debated for a final time today.