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On the Hill: Just Weeks Remain to Stop DSH Cut, Avert Shutdown

On returning from Thanksgiving recess next week, Congress will have a limited window to advance must-pass health care legislation and avert a government shutdown.

Lawmakers will have only weeks to stop the impending $4 billion cut to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) funding; renew expiring funding for several health care programs; pass legislation to fund federal operations for fiscal year 2021; and provide much-needed COVID-19 relief.

With this in mind, America’s Essential Hospitals sent a letter to congressional leadership urging action on key advocacy priorities for the postelection lame-duck legislative session.

The letter focuses on four crucial topics of importance to essential hospitals: Medicaid DSH funding, additional COVID-19 relief, the 340B Drug Pricing Program, and addressing disparities in maternal health outcomes. An Action Alert sent last week urged association members to contact their congressional delegations in support of year-end legislation that addresses essential hospital priorities.

House Passes Stand-Alone Health Care Bills

Last week, the House passed 10 bipartisan health care bills. Of note for essential hospitals, H.R. 4499 would enhance research on minority health disparities by providing and expanding research endowments at university centers of excellence. Similar legislation passed the Senate this summer.

Other bills advanced by the House would help address the nation’s opioid crisis and support trauma centers with violence intervention and violence prevention programs.

Register Now for Virtual Postelection Policy Assembly

Don’t forget to register for the America’s Essential Hospitals virtual postelection Policy Assembly, Dec. 8–9.

Attendees will receive a full analysis of the November elections and learn how the outcomes of presidential and congressional races impact essential hospital advocacy priorities moving forward. Attendees also will have the opportunity to virtually engage their congressional delegations.

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About the Author

Nikki Hurt is a manager of legislative affairs at America's Essential Hospitals.

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