Members of America’s Essential Hospitals held nearly 100 meetings with members of Congress and key congressional staff as part of the Fall Legislative Event on Oct. 2. Association members educated their representatives about the work they do to ensure all patients have access to high quality care. “It is absolutely critical for members of Congress to hear from our people on the front lines,” association President and CEO Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, said in remarks to open the event. “Nothing can take [the] place of that personal touch.” Members of America’s Essential Hospitals also advocated on the following points, which will help essential hospitals ensure access to care:
- Support evidence-based Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) alignment by delaying cuts to Medicaid DSH for three years.
- Ensure state health insurance marketplaces (exchanges) contract with essential community providers, which make up the backbone of our health care safety net.
- Reject further cuts to Medicaid and Medicare in federal budget and debt limit legislation.
The event also included presentations from senior Capitol Hill staff on congressional priorities around Medicaid and Medicare and America’s Essential Hospitals policy experts on opportunities and challenges with the new health insurance marketplaces. Finally, to highlight members’ essential services, America’s Essential Hospitals displayed member hospital photographs in an exhibit in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building.