Why are Hospitals closing
Social Studies
Hospitals are Closing during Coronavirus

The coronavirus is spreading rapidly in the United States. This virus carries many socio-economic implications. For example, funding cuts of nearly $400M are currently being proposed to control the cost of state-funded Medicaid programs. By implementing such cuts states could save upwards of $2.5B.However, reductions in government funding for hospitals can potentially put the nation at risk. A fundamental question needs to be considered: is this the right time to limit government funding while many people are getting infected by the virus? According to the New York Times, “Many of the hospitals that would be hurt by the cuts are so-called safety-net hospitals, which largely serve uninsured or undocumented residents, some of whom are considered susceptible to infection because of cramped living or work conditions.” This indicates that cuts to government funding during this pandemic would most affect people who do not have medical insurance. As such those who immigrated to America illegally could suffer the most. This point is further supported by a statement from Bill Hammond, a health policy advisor at a conservative think-tank. Hammond says, “People who immigrated to America and have no insurance, they need the money the most. How are they going to bear these expenses when they have jobs only to survive?” Moreover, the nation’s hospitals are closing just as COVID-19 reaches in rural America. One rural hospital's human resources director, Melinda Hays-Kirkwood, says, "It's a difficult time to be shutting down a hospital in the middle of the coronavirus. There are currently no known cases in Decatur County, but every county around it has reported infections." Hays-Kirkwood adds, “Even though, in Decatur County, there is no known cause, the hospital should not be closed in the middle of the pandemic. It is ridiculous to know that the hospital is closing during this difficult situation when there is a lack of beds in hospitals.” A local magazine’s editor, Allan Jenkins, further elucidates this point by adding, “Rural communities tend to be older and poorer and sicker and less likely to be insured. One recent analysis estimated that treating just one uninsured COVID-19 patient who has to be hospitalized could cost at least $40,000.” Jenkins raises an important point that poor people are more likely to suffer when they are uninsured because they cannot afford to pay their bills. In such cases, the lack of assistance from the federal government could potentially endanger their lives. Limiting government funding for hospitals would negatively affect poor populations, many of whom are undocumented and uninsured. This, in turn, would violate many people’s ideas, people who consider basic healthcare as a fundamental human right.
Bronx, NY
Ilyasu Jalloh
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Created on 2020-05-06 at 01:47 and last updated on 2020-05-06 at 01:58.