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On the Hill: Congress Returns to Face Key Funding Challenges

As the Senate returns from the month-long August recess, the Sept. 30 government funding deadline looms large, and the future for essential hospital priorities remains unclear, including averting cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments.

Congressional leaders in both chambers have expressed interest in a short-term spending bill; President Joe Biden has asked that any stopgap funding measure include $4 billion in disaster aid. But Congress will be challenged to pass any appropriations measure, given political posturing on the Hill that makes a government shutdown increasingly likely.

In the month ahead, Congress will consider multiple pressing matters, including stopping the $8 billion cut to Medicaid DSH funding on Oct. 1; funding community health centers; and reauthorizing the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act, the farm bill, and the Federal Aviation Administration, among other items.

Congress also will consider site-neutral payment policies, which would require hospitals to charge a standard price for a service regardless of where it is performed. America’s Essential Hospitals continues to educate lawmakers about how site-neutral policies would harm essential hospitals and access to care for low-income and marginalized patients.

Committee Activity This Week

The Senate has returned to session, while the House remains in recess for another week.

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About the Author

Julia Grady is a senior legislative affairs associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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