On May 15, a bipartisan group of 231 members of Congress sent a Dear Colleague letter urging House leadership to address scheduled reductions to the Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) program. The letter, co-led by Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), and Michael Burgess, MD, (R-Texas), underscored the critical role of the Medicaid DSH program in supporting the health care safety-net, stating, “Medicaid DSH payments are an important tool for hospitals that provide care in underserved communities.” The letter noted that, should Congress fail to take action, $8 billion in cuts to the program will take effect on Oct. 1. “Our nation’s rural and urban safety-net hospitals cannot sustain losses of this magnitude, leaving our constituents and communities without access to the medical care they depend on and need,” the lawmakers noted.
The letter praised the bipartisan Supporting Safety Net Hospitals Act (H.R. 2665) as a “reasonable and responsible path” to avert cuts to the Medicaid DSH program and ensure continued access to care for Medicaid beneficiaries. This AAMC-supported legislation, which would eliminate scheduled reductions to the program for fiscal years 2024 and 2025, was recently marked up and passed by the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee [refer to Washington Highlights, May 19].