Urge federal lawmakers to support hospitals with additional financial and other assistance that will aid their response to COVID-19 and help California safely reopen. CHA has developed a template letter for members to send to their congressional representatives as well as Sens. Feinstein and Harris. Please email a copy of your letter to Lisa Geraty at Lgeraty@calhospital.org. To find your representative’s contact information, visit www.house.gov/representatives/find; both senators’ contact information can be found here.
By August 5
House and Senate leadership and the Trump administration are currently discussing legislation to provide additional relief and funding for the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, the House of Representatives passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, providing $3.5 trillion in additional federal funds for health care providers, testing, education, and support for the economy – but it has not been passed by the Senate. The Senate and the administration are now proposing a much smaller package.
With enhanced unemployment benefits set to expire on July 31 and Congress scheduled to recess for the political conventions on Aug. 7, there is considerable pressure on all parties to agree on a package within the next two weeks.
The California delegation needs to hear from hospitals to fully understand the magnitude of our needs. CHA is urgently requesting additional funding for hospitals and health systems to support expenses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 summer surge. CHA is also highlighting that, so far, federal relief funds have been both insufficient and disproportionately low for California’s hospitals. In addition to much-needed funds, CHA is requesting a host of important provisions to help secure hospitals’ financial stability over the long term: liability protection, an increase in federal funding for Medicaid, blocking disruptive regulatory changes to Medicaid, providing loan forgiveness for advance Medicare payments, fair treatment of grants to tax-paying hospitals, and other measures.
While we recognize and appreciate the $175 billion Congress has already directed to hospitals and other providers, additional assistance is needed to preserve access to care and a stable health care delivery system. In CHA’s template letter, please include hospital-specific information that illustrates the urgent need for additional funds to help with the expensive preparations and care you are providing to COVID-19 patients, as well as revenue lost due to the halting of routine procedures.