FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and CEO
America’s Essential Hospitals
WASHINGTON — America’s Essential Hospitals appreciates that Energy and Commerce Chair Greg Walden will hold a mark-up of legislation to support programs that protect low-income Americans and their hospitals.
We applaud the extension in the HEALTHY KIDS Act for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. We also thank the chair for recognizing the damage Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) cuts would cause to care for the uninsured and vital community services, such as trauma care and disaster response.
But we remain concerned the bill’s DSH relief—a one-year delay paired with even deeper cuts in later years—will make it harder to find a sustainable solution to uncompensated care and will prolong the uncertainty that threatens essential hospitals and the communities they serve.
We continue to support a two-year delay of the DSH cuts, smaller out-year cuts, and a permanent solution that ensures stability for our hospitals and helps lawmakers avoid an ongoing legislative quagmire, as we saw with the sustainable growth rate. Congress’ bipartisan support of DSH cut delays in the past signals an opportunity now for a permanent fix.
# # #
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.