Proponents of expanding Medicaid have argued that under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals stand to lose millions of dollars in special federal payments for serving the poor. Those cuts could force some rural hospitals to close if Medicaid isn’t expanded, the act’s supporters have said.
Now, any political leverage that argument provided is gone, at least for this year. President Barack Obama proposed in his budget yesterday to delay the hospital cuts for a year. Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, said in a statement he was “completely surprised” by the move. Republican state legislators said it’s a sign that Obamacare is falling apart.