Reps. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Pete Olson (R-Texas) May 13 led a bipartisan “Dear Colleague” letter urging House leadership to delay the scheduled Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) cuts. The letter, signed by over 300 members of Congress, encourages Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to delay the cuts for at least two years “until a more sustainable, permanent solution is reached.”
In an accompanying press release, Rep. Engel highlighted the importance of Medicaid DSH funding to safety-net hospitals, noting, “If Medicaid DSH cuts were implemented, it would have a devastating impact on these critical facilities, potentially leading many to close their door.” Rep. Olson emphasized the impact to patients, adding, “Any cut to this program would have an immediate and harmful impact on our country’s most vulnerable citizens, including children, the elderly and the disabled.”
The AAMC previously joined seven other national hospital associations in a letter to Congressional leaders asking for a delay of the cuts [see Washington Highlights, Feb. 21]. Unless Congress acts, safety-net hospitals will face a $4 billion cut in Medicaid DSH funding in fiscal year (FY) 2020 and an $8 billion cut per year in FYs 2021-2025.