FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2014
Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and CEO
America’s Essential Hospitals
WASHINGTON—”We recognize President Obama for his efforts to help low-income and other struggling Americans with tax relief, but worry that other elements of his fiscal year 2015 budget plan could work against these same people.”
“Many who would benefit from the president’s tax proposals are among those likely to access care at hospitals that rely on Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments—payments the president’s budget would cut by an additional $3.2 billion. It also contains damaging cuts to payments these same hospitals receive to train future health professionals and to cover the cost of bad debt.”
“Essential Hospitals—those that play a safety net role in their community—cannot sustain ongoing and deep annual reductions to DSH and other federal support. Without this critical funding, these hospitals likely would scale back services to those most in need or, in some cases, close their doors altogether.”
“We have serious concerns about the administration’s proposal to dramatically reduce graduate medical education (GME) payments by $14.6 billion, despite its plan to competitively award $5.2 billion in GME grants, which could create funding instabilities that undermine good patient care.”
“We do welcome aspects of the president’s budget plan that work toward improving community health, including support for community health centers and mental health professionals training, as well as additional research funding and support for new medical countermeasures against chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological threats.”
“But we caution strongly against further reductions in federal support for essential hospitals and call on policymakers to revisit Affordable Care Act cuts in light of greatly reduced Medicaid expansion and other coverage shortfalls.”
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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals, formerly the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, 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. It supports members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education.
Our more than 200 members are vital to their communities, providing primary care through trauma care, disaster response, health professionals 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. Visit EssentialHospitals.org to learn more.