Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Pete Olson (R-TX), both members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, are circulating a bipartisan letter to colleagues calling for a two-year delay of a $4 billion cut to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) funding on Oct. 1.
America’s Essential Hospitals strongly supports this effort, and, in an Action Alert today, the association called on member hospitals to contact their House representatives and urge them to sign the letter. Engel and Olson will collect signatures through May 3.
Congress established Medicaid DSH payments partly to offset the high uncompensated costs essential hospitals sustain caring for large numbers of Medicaid and low-income patients and providing public health and social services to the people and communities they serve. This year’s $4 billion DSH cut would be followed in fiscal year 2021 with a devastating $8 billion reduction — two-thirds of current funding. Statute mandated the cuts with the expectation of coverage increases that have not occurred.
Capitol Hill Remains Focused on Rx Prices
The Senate Committee on Finance this week will hold a hearing on the role of pharmacy benefit managers in the drug pricing industry. The hearing will include testimony from CVS, Humana, Optum, and Prime Therapeutics. This is the third hearing in a series by the committee to examine prescription drug prices; it follows testimony from seven pharmaceutical executives last month.
Meanwhile, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on Wednesday will hold another oversight hearing on the rising cost of insulin. This will be the second hearing this month examining the impact of the rising cost of insulin on diabetes patients.
Additionally, the House Committee on Ways and Means will mark up the Prescription Drug Sunshine, Transparency, Accountability, and Reporting Act. The bill would require certain drug manufacturers to report on increases in drug prices and on product samples provided to certain health care providers.