Republicans Debate Mini-bailouts For Hospitals

Republican governors scored easy political points by rejecting President Barack Obama's plan to enroll more poor people in government health insurance.

Now Republican leaders in Georgia and Mississippi may be bailing out hospitals that will lose funding they would have gotten from Obama's health care law. South Carolina's leaders increased payments to hospitals in a push to improve rural health. It likely placated hospital officials who might have pressured Republicans to adopt the Democratic plan.

Obama's plan assumed that very few people would lack health insurance, meaning the U.S. government could reduce the payments it makes to hospitals for treating poor and uninsured patients.

But 25 states refused to expand their government-funded Medicaid programs or are still debating it. Without health insurance, those low-income patients cannot fully pay for treatment.

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