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What We're Reading: Trump Signs Executive Order; VA Staffing Crisis; Texas Hospital Firm Draws Scrutiny

AJMC Staff
President Trump signed an executive order aimed at forcing low-income recipients of food assistance, Medicaid, and low-income housing subsidies to get jobs or lose benefits; in the midst of a debate over dysfunction at the VA, there are tens of thousands of full- and part-time vacancies nationwide; a privately-run, family-owned hospital in rural Bowie, Texas, doesn't accept commercial insurance, has drawn attention of state health inspectors, and charges unusually high rates with an "out-of-network" model.

Trump Formalizes Plan Requiring Federal Aid Recipients to Work

President Trump signed an executive order aimed at forcing low-income recipients of food assistance, Medicaid, and low-income housing subsidies to get jobs or lose benefits, The New York Times reported. Many of the plans are already in effect. HHS has begun issuing Medicaid waivers to Republican states that are imposing stricter work requirements and the Agriculture Department is pressuring states to do the same for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. Advocates say adults who do not already have jobs face various hiring obstacles.



Thousands of Healthcare Openings Exist in Midst of Crisis at VA

The VA has tens of thousands of full- and part-time vacancies nationwide, including various healthcare positions, the Washington Post reported. The paper interviewed Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, ranking Democrat of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, who said the VA lacks enough human resources staff to vet candidates and make the hires. The Trump administration has called the VA dysfunctional and wants to privatize medical care.



A for-Profit Hospital Makes Money on Rural Hospital Crisis in Texas

A privately-run family-owned hospital in rural Bowie, Texas, doesn't accept commercial insurance, has drawn attention of state health inspectors, and charges unusually high rates. Politico reported about how the Hashmi group is profiting with an “out-of-network” model as rural hospitals in Texas close or jettison certain services. The Dallas for-profit firm bought tiny Bowie Memorial, which like other rural hospitals had struggled financially to serve a population that is largely uninsured or relies on Medicaid or Medicare. Despite increased attention on the firm, there is not much anyone can to force the company to bring down its charges.

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