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NAPH statement on CMS Medicaid Expansion Guidance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2012

Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and Chief Executive Officer
National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems

WASHINGTON—”We are greatly encouraged by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ decision today to pursue an expansion of Medicaid consistent with the scope of the Affordable Care Act. The agency’s guidance follows the letter and spirit of the law and takes an important step toward significantly reducing the ranks of the uninsured.

“NAPH hospitals and other providers who care for society’s most vulnerable people face severe funding challenges. Based on federal data, we estimate that by 2019 6 million to 10 million more people could remain uninsured than Congress expected when it passed the ACA and hospitals’ uncompensated care costs could rise by $53.3 billion during the same period.

“This swelling demand for safety net services, along with planned cuts to federal funding for the very hospitals that provide it, could take a terrible toll on access to care for the uninsured and underinsured.

“We look to the promise of reform to expand health care coverage as broadly as possible and call on lawmakers to preserve the funding we have. We also urge the administration to work with states to ease their transition to an expanded Medicaid program and support innovative approaches to enhancing access to care.”

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About the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH)
NAPH represents the nation’s safety net hospitals and health systems, which provide high volumes of care to low-income individuals. These facilities offer high-quality health services for all patients, including the uninsured and underinsured, regardless of ability to pay. In addition to helping ensure access to health care for all Americans, safety net hospitals provide many essential communitywide services, such as primary care, trauma care, and neonatal intensive care. Safety net hospitals also train many of America’s doctors, nurses, and other health care providers. Since its inception in 1980, NAPH has cultivated a strong presence on Capitol Hill, with the executive branch, and in many state capitols. NAPH advocates on behalf of its members on such issues as Medicaid, Medicare, and access to health care services for vulnerable populations. For more information, visit our website at http://www.naph.org/.

Media Contact:
Carl Graziano
202.585.0102

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