Advocacy Alert

Urge Your Lawmakers to Support Essential Health System Designation

Essential Hospitals Praise Legislative Action to Stop DSH Cuts

March 8, 2024


Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and CEO
America’s Essential Hospitals

WASHINGTON — Essential hospitals thank House and Senate lawmakers for their decisive action this week to stop funding cuts that jeopardized access to care and put the nation’s health care safety net at risk.

By eliminating this fiscal year’s $8 billion cut to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) funding and delaying the fiscal year 2025 cut, Congress affords policymakers valuable time to find a lasting solution to the decade-long threat to DSH support. This funding is crucial to essential hospitals and the disadvantaged people and communities they serve.

We also thank Congress for protecting other safety net programs and funding important to maintaining access to care, including graduate medical education.

With the imminent threat to DSH averted, Congress can turn to policies that shore up and stabilize our safety net, including by formally defining the hospitals at its core. By doing so, lawmakers would create a powerful tool to direct support where it’s needed most. Essential hospitals look forward to serving as trusted partners in this work.

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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading association and champion for hospitals dedicated to equitable, high-quality care for all, including those who face social and financial barriers to care. Since 1981, America’s Essential Hospitals has advanced policies and programs that promote health, health care access, and equity. We support our more than 300 members with advocacy, policy development, research, education, and leadership development. Communities depend on essential hospitals for care across the continuum, health care workforce training, research, public health and health equity, and other services. Essential hospitals innovate and adapt to lead all of health care toward better outcomes and value.

Carl Graziano

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