By Abby Goodnough

The New York Times

BOSTON — A hospital that serves thousands of indigent Massachusetts residents sued the state on Wednesday, charging that its costly universal health care law is forcing the hospital to cover too much of the expense of caring for the poor.

The hospital, Boston Medical Center, faces a $38 million deficit for the fiscal year ending in September, its first loss in five years. The suit says the hospital will lose more than $100 million next year because the state has lowered Medicaid reimbursement rates and stopped paying Boston Medical “reasonable costs” for treating other poor patients.

“We filed this suit more in sorrow than in anger,” said Elaine Ullian, the hospital’s chief executive. “We believe in health care reform to the bottom of our toes, but it was never, ever supposed to be financed on the backs of the poor, and that’s what has happened in Massachusetts.”

[. . .]

Professor Parmet said the hospital’s dissatisfaction with the new law should be a warning to Congress that “insurance alone doesn’t solve the problems” of the health care system. In fact, she said, it might exacerbate the financial problems of safety-net hospitals in the short term.

Read the entire article at The New York Times.

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