Essential hospitals are united in their mission to provide care to all people, regardless of social, financial, or health status. Democratic lawmakers working to execute President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” legislative agenda cannot overlook the crucial work essential hospitals perform, especially as they remain on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To support the sustainability of the health care safety net, policymakers should include these essential hospital priorities in the final reconciliation legislative package:
- establish an emergency funding pathway to meet the workforce needs of essential hospitals and other providers during public health crises;
- maintain critical workforce development programs and resources;
- protect the integrity of the 340B Drug Pricing Program from unintended downstream effects of supply chain or drug pricing policy changes;
- authorize $10 billion in fiscal year 2022 for hospital construction and modernization in communities of need; and
- ensure consistency, especially as it relates to provider payments and support for unreimbursed costs, between current Medicaid operations and a proposed new federalized program.