FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and CEO
America’s Essential Hospitals
WASHINGTON— Congress has failed low-income Americans by leaving in place damaging funding cuts to the hospitals on which they, their families, and their communities depend.
The temporary relief Congress gave the Children’s Health Insurance Program, while appreciated, won’t stop the loss of health care access and jobs that occurs when disproportionate share hospital (DSH) cuts hit with full force January 1. Hospitals cannot sustain these losses without scaling back services or closing altogether, especially as the ranks of the uninsured swell with the end of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.
Congress’ inaction also endangers entire communities by destabilizing the hospitals that provide trauma and neonatal intensive care, burn units, disaster response, and other lifesaving services for everyone.
Stopping cuts to Medicaid DSH enjoys strong bipartisan, bicameral support, and we see no reason why lawmakers can’t find a bipartisan, bicameral solution. We urge Congress to immediately halt the DSH cuts as soon as lawmakers return in January.
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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading association and champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. Since 1981, America’s Essential Hospitals has initiated, advanced, and preserved programs and policies that help these hospitals ensure access to care. We support members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education.
Our 325 members are vital to their communities, providing primary care through trauma care, disaster response, health professional training, research, public health programs, and other services. They innovate and adapt to lead the broader health care community toward more effective and efficient care.