Last month, 41 members of California’s congressional delegation signed on to a bipartisan letter to the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House of Representatives asking that they protect the state’s safety net hospitals from devastating federal cuts.
Specifically, the letter calls for them to back the Supporting Safety Net Hospitals Act, which would delay for two years planned disproportionate share hospital (DSH) cuts totaling more than $1 billion annually to California hospitals.
At a time when hospitals are facing service cuts and layoffs just to keep their doors open — or in the worst cases, closure — these federal resources are vital to preserving health care for some of California’s most disadvantaged.
While the Supporting Safety Net Hospitals Act is headed to the House floor and appears likely to pass, it still faces a vote by the Senate. No matter what happens, without congressional action, the DSH cuts would go into effect Oct. 1 of this year, meaning that hospitals serving high volumes of Medi-Cal patients would see their already-thin resources reduced. In all, 231 representatives signed the letter, well above the 218-majority mark in the House, and a clear signal to leadership that delaying these cuts is critical to protect hospital care in underserved communities.
The significant support from California’s members of Congress (41 of 52) to delay these cuts is due in no small part to your outreach to legislators and their staff. The connection that policymakers — both at the state and federal level — have with their local hospital is the most important factor in advocating successfully for policies that support hospitals’ mission.
CHA is grateful for the work of hospital leaders and members of Congress who recognize the urgency of preserving these vital federal resources.