The economic woes in this lingering recession continue as Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare announced that it is cutting 500 jobs from its work force. The job cuts will result in 250 actual workers being laid off.
U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, KY-3, a Democrat, released the following statement:
“This is heart-breaking news for the families impacted, and I am eager to work with state and local officials to help identify new jobs for those individuals laid-off.
While we should all be concerned about those who have lost jobs, we also have to focus on the fact that these cuts were made because thousands more of our friends and neighbors aren’t getting the health care they need. As the CEO of Jewish stated, these cuts are largely due to the increasing number of uninsured Kentuckians who are either foregoing care or are forced to seek expensive emergency room care they cannot pay for, leaving providers like Jewish without customers and with unpaid bills.
One-third of adults aged 18 to 64 in Kentucky are now uninsured and 230 more Kentuckians lose their health insurance everyday, because their employers are dropping their plans or because they cannot afford premium increases that often reach 40 percent a year. Many more are denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
This has enormous consequences for each family, but also for our local economy, which heavily depends on the health care sector and its workers. Until we enact changes to our health care system that provide people with access to better, more affordable coverage, I fear we will face additional losses here in Louisville.”