Layoffs at South Bend, Ind. hospital; Obamacare blamed

This is not the story that Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., wants to see on the news the night before Election Day. It's about the hospital where I was born:

With St. Joseph County’s unemployment rate still sitting above ten percent, things could be getting worse thanks to cuts at Memorial Hospital. Those cuts began back in June and hospital leaders say there’s no end in sight.

While hospital leaders admit the economy sparked this problem, it says the Obama Health Care Reform Act gave the hospital a one-two punch. While more people may soon get more health coverage, Obama’s plan cuts reimbursement dollars for hospitals at a time administrators say they could use them most.

If you roll up a chair and type your way to Memorial Hospital’s web site, you can click your way through 45 active job openings. Pay the hospital a visit and you’ll see it’s still getting patients and paying for construction improvements. So why would it cut nearly fifty jobs in just five months?

…In a statement the hospital said:”Health care reform in its current state has already started to cut reimbursement rates to hospitals across the region and the country and we expect that reality to get worse moving forward.”

It’s a catch 22; increased health insurance at the cost of hospital staffing.

Oh, but don’t worry, things will get better….says…a high school student!

“I think it should get better as time goes on. Once the system really gets going and the bill picks up speed, I think it should get better,” Washington High School junior Gabriellee Lee said after completing a shadow day at Memorial Hospital.

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