Last month, more than 350 California hospitals and health systems urged state and federal policymakers to prevent further erosion of the health care services relied upon by so many across our state.
Without rapid support, many face difficult choices about shuttering services just to remain open or, in several cases, outright bankruptcy.
The state and federal letters, one sent to Gov. Newsom and key legislative leaders and one to every member of California’s congressional delegation, lay out the compelling reasons for, respectively, an immediate financial lifeline to support hospital care for Medi-Cal patients and for the protection and enhancement of Medicare funding.
Both letters support hospitals’ highest priority this year in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.: stabilizing a California health care system that has been wracked by:
- $12 billion in losses (even after federal relief) during the pandemic
- Skyrocketing inflation
- A massive increase in health care wages
To cope, hospitals have depleted their cash to cover the surging cost of providing care.
Even with a quick injection of resources to stabilize those hospitals on the brink of collapse, systemic reform will be needed to address the chronic underfunding of the Medi-Cal and Medicare programs, which pay far less than the actual cost of delivering care.
Policymakers hold the power to protect health care for all Californians. Hospitals, and the patients they serve, are counting on them.