Fox News attacked President Obama's signature health care reform, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), by seizing on a Pennsylvania hospital's decision to stop delivering babies. But the hospital's decision was primarily based on a financial situation that changed after four doctors decided to leave the obstetrics department.
On Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade reported on a Pennsylvania hospital that has decided to stop delivering babies, claiming the hospital is "blaming cutbacks on the president's new health care law" and asking if other hospitals will follow this trend. Kilmeade used the story to attack the ACA, asking Rep. Mike Burgess (R-TX) "what is your greatest fear since you can look at it from the doctor's level, as Obamacare comes to fruition and the bill that no one read is now law?"
But while Kilmeade used the story to attack the ACA, officials at Windber Medical Center pointed to a variety of causes for the decision, the primary one being the departure of four Ob-gyn physicians:
While the main reason is that all four of the Ob-gyn doctors are leaving the obstetrics division, the hospital admits that not replacing them is in part of a financial decision [sic].
In a statement on their website they said, "In today's challenging healthcare environment the board of directors and executive leadership at Windber Medical Center continue to carefully evaluate the current state against reimbursement and industry trends."
Vassilaros says those decisions are being made across the country.
"We are all trying to figure out what's coming, we are all looking down the road making plans
and we are all trying to see what's going to change," Vassilaros told us.
He says it's important to note that it's not just the Affordable Healthcare Act [sic]. Legislation around the fiscal cliff and other decisions are impacting costs.
Following the Supreme Court ruling that the ACA was constitutional, Dr. James T. Breeden, the president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, applauded the decision, pointing to the law's provisions that guarantee "direct access to obstetric and gynecologic care":
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) applauds the US Supreme Court's ruling today that affirms the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). "The Affordable Care Act helps ensure all Americans have access to affordable coverage with important consumer protections and benefits, including comprehensive maternity coverage and well-woman care," said ACOG President James T. Breeden, MD. "We urge all states to act swiftly to implement these important access and coverage guarantees."
The ACA also guarantees women direct access to obstetric and gynecologic care. "My own state of Nevada and 42 other states already allow direct access," said Dr. Breeden. ACOG advocated vigorously for this new national ob-gyn direct-access standard so that all women in every state will no longer face costly and burdensome delays and denials.