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NAPH statement on fiscal cliff agreement, continued threat to safety net

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 1, 2013

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

WASHINGTON – “NAPH welcomes today’s news that the Senate and administration have agreed on steps toward easing the government’s fiscal crisis and putting the country on firmer financial footing. We also thank lawmakers and the White House for protecting access to community ambulatory care for low-income patients and the hospitals that serve them.”

“But while this agreement averts severe economic hardships for the nation, it nonetheless puts at risk essential health care for millions of vulnerable people. Solving one side of the provider equation must not come at the expense of the other – particularly the hospitals and health systems that care for a disproportionate share of Medicaid and other low-income patients.”

“As the country continues down the road to fiscal stability, we must not leave behind those who, by staying healthy and productive, can help us reach that goal. The president and lawmakers must act immediately to ensure sustainable, reliable funding for our most disadvantaged patients and the dedicated providers who care for them, regardless of ability to pay.”

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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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