The 2020 COVID-19 outbreak exposed critical hospital capacity shortages across the nation. From New York to Washington, hospitals have struggled with ensuring they have sufficient space for potential patients. In normal times, this is a concern. But during a global pandemic, this is a recipe for a public health disaster.
Across the country, states that expanded Medicaid under ObamaCare to able-bodied, working-age adults have faced hospital financial shortfalls and even closures. But an equally troubling concern is the significant decline in hospital bed capacity that exists in states that have expanded Medicaid. Unfortunately, states that bought into the false promise that ObamaCare expansion would be a cure-all or silver bullet for struggling hospitals are now faced with inadequate space and critical constraints on care in those same hospitals.
While hospital space shortages are prevalent across the map, the reality is that Medicaid expansion has exacerbated hospitals’ challenges and inability to meet the demand for care. Expansion would not only fail to help states during a pandemic like COVID-19, but it could actually cause critical constraints on capacity.