FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and CEO
America’s Essential Hospitals
WASHINGTON — We appreciate that House Republicans offer the safety net some support in today’s reconciliation bill, including an eventual end to disproportionate share hospital cuts. Nevertheless, America’s Essential Hospitals remains deeply concerned about the legislation in its current form.
We are particularly disappointed lawmakers seem willing to consider this bill in committee without a Congressional Budget Office score and an estimate of how the bill might impact health care coverage. A score is crucial, as this legislation could place a heavy burden on the safety net by reducing federal support for Medicaid expansion over time and imposing per-capita caps on the program.
These changes alone could result in deep funding cuts for essential hospitals, which now operate with little or no margin. Our hospitals could not sustain such reductions without scaling back services or eliminating jobs.
Individuals and families — especially the vulnerable — could suffer. Communities could suffer, as well: Our hospitals are a key source of costly, lifesaving services, including trauma and neonatal intensive care, disaster response, and infection control. Without a CBO score, there are too many unknowns and too great a risk of coverage losses without affordable alternatives for many Americans.
Congress must work with all stakeholders to ensure that those who have coverage now do not lose it, that entitlement reform does not shift costs to states and providers, and that reform sustains a strong and secure safety net. Lawmakers must halt action on this bill until the CBO scores it and stakeholders can fully evaluate its provisions with that score in hand.
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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 nearly 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.