FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and CEO
America’s Essential Hospitals
WASHINGTON—Throughout this year’s health care debate, America’s Essential Hospitals stood by its position that policy changes must maintain coverage for those who have it, preserve access, and protect hospitals that care for low-income and other vulnerable people.
While we do not yet have a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score for the Graham-Cassidy proposal, the plan appears to violate those core principles.
It appears to significantly restrict federal health care funding through per-capita caps and block grants, which would shift costs to states, patients, providers, and taxpayers. Further, by taking an approach so close to that of the earlier House and Senate plans, it’s reasonable to conclude it would have a similar result: millions of Americans losing coverage.
Unlike those previous proposals, the Graham-Cassidy bill provides no meaningful relief from looming cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments. Further, it would impose strict new limits on how states raise support for the safety net. Rather than providing flexibility, this would limit states’ coverage and financing choices.
Rather than consider a proposal with no CBO score or committee review, the Senate should stay focused on bipartisan efforts to shore up the insurance market, extend Children’s Health Insurance Program funding, and delay Medicaid DSH cuts.
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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 more than 300 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.