"It's very difficult to believe hospitals can absorb the kinds of numbers they are talking about without reducing service or workforce," said Kirby, the hospital association head. "You may decide that a service a hospital provides is not affordable — for example, obstetrics in a rural community — if you're making a little bit of money or losing a little bit of money by continuing to deliver babies in a rural community."
"Imagine a person being told they are going to get a raise, but their taxes are also going to go up and they are going to be paying more for gas," said Thornton Kirby, president of the South Carolina Hospital Association. "They don't know if they are going to be taking home more or less. That's the uncertainty when there are so many variables in play."