Hospital closing after NC doesn’t expand Medicaid

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A small community hospital in eastern North Carolina is closing after state officials declined Medicaid expansion under the federal Affordable Care Act.

The Daily Reflector of Greenville reports (http://bit.ly/1527g1X ) that Vidant Health System will close its hospital in the coastal town of Belhaven within six months. About 100 employees are expected to lose their jobs.

Vidant CEO David Herman said the 60-year-old hospital’s closing is triggered by the decision of North Carolina lawmakers to refuse federal funding to expand Medicaid. The company plans to open a small outpatient clinic in Belhaven, but patients needing emergency care would need to be transported to another Vidant hospital in Washington, 26 miles away.

Gov. Pat McCrory signed a Republican-backed law in March denying health insurance to about 500,000 low-income people under Medicaid.

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