Melanie Evans – The Affordable Care Act isn’t wiping out unpaid hospital bills

The economy of Gillette, Wyo., has slumped along with the fortunes of companies like Devon Energy and Peabody Energy, which have slashed jobs because of the prolonged downturn in oil and gas prices.

Taxes on property, coal and oil support the county-owned hospital, but revenue has dipped because of dwindling population and a rising number of uninsured residents amid the layoffs. Wyoming, so far, has chosen not to expand Medicaidunder the Affordable Care Act.

“We were really optimistic when the legislation was passed that there would be more folks with insurance and things would get better for hospitals,” said Dalton Huber, chief financial officer of Campbell County Health in Gillette.


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