As expected, hospital administrators told legislators Wednesday that proposed health care cuts will have serious consequences, especially for rural health care facilities.
“Real people will suffer,” said Mark Eustis, president of Fairview Health Services, which includes a hospital in Red Wing and clinics in the eastern Twin Cities suburbs.
Scott Wente of Forum Communications also quotes Sue Klabo, administrator of Mahnomen Health Center in northwestern Minnesota, telling legislators: “We are financially marginal now. How are we going to be able to sustain services through this long economic crisis?”
The hospitals worry that the governor and Legislature, in trying to solve the budget crisis, will cut hospital reimbursement funds and eliminate Minnesotans from government health insurance programs, which may force many to delay treatment until their conditions worsen and they show up in emergency rooms to be treated at a higher cost.
Wente quotes Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s spokesman Brian McClung: “We recognize that these cuts can be difficult, but under the circumstances we’re in, everyone is going to have to do some belt-tightening. Hospitals are not immune from that.”