Governor says NY hospitals face ‘devastating cuts’ with healthcare repeal

Posted 19 September 2017 at 8:01 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today called on Congress to immediately rescind the federal government’s devastating cuts in Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital payments that will go into effect Oct. 1 unless Congress acts.

Billions of federal dollars to hospitals will be cut beginning Oct. 1, impacting services to low-income and the uninsured. This will cut critical federal funding known as Disproportionate Share Hospital payments that reimburses hospitals through the Medicaid program for uncompensated health care costs.

At the same time, Governor Cuomo is calling on New York’s Congressional Delegation to fight the latest and most drastic attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act—the Graham-Cassidy Senate health care bill—that would cut $18.9 billion annually from New York’s health care system by 2026 and jeopardize health care coverage for 2.7 million New Yorkers.

“The federal government is still trying to decimate our health care system by targeting the quality of care low income Americans are able to receive,” Governor Cuomo said. “Health care is not a privilege or something for those we have the means to afford care—it is a fundamental right. In New York, we are standing up and calling on Congress to immediately rescind impending hospital cuts that will devastate our public and safety hospitals before they take effect on October 1st and reject these last minute, dangerous attempts to repeal the ACA through the Graham-Cassidy bill.”

New York will be hit with the largest DSH cut in the nation and also faces disproportionately higher cuts. New York accounts for 14.5 percent of total DSH funding, but is bearing 16 percent of the national-wide DSH cuts. The $2.6 billion cut to New York State by 2025 is significantly higher than that borne by other states, including California ($1.2 billion), New Jersey ($1.2 billion), and Texas ($1 billion).

The governor said the cuts will decimate New York’s hospitals and fall hardest on its public and safety net hospitals that can least afford it:

Over the next 18 months alone, cuts in reimbursement for uncompensated care will cost New York hospitals more than $1.1 billion, representing more than one-third of all DSH funding to New York State.

By 2025, the cuts will take away more than $2.6 billion annually from the amount hospitals should receive for providing uncompensated care to low income and uninsured New Yorkers.

Ultimately, these cuts will impact all 219 hospitals across New York State. However, they will disproportionately impact public hospitals and safety net institutions serving 2.8 million New Yorkers.

Governor Cuomo also called on Congress to stop the so-called Graham-Cassidy bill, Congress’s latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The bill uses block grants and per capita spending caps to dramatically cut Medicaid funding for New York.

Graham-Cassidy will put 2.7 million New Yorkers at risk of losing health coverage and cost New York $18.9 billion annually by 2026 according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said, “Once again, Republicans are proposing deep cuts to Medicaid that will imperil the well-being of millions of New Yorkers, especially our rural communities, the elderly, and children, resulting in a staggering financial burden for taxpayers. The Graham-Cassidy bill is an obvious attempt to contain the political damage done by July’s failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and it should be rejected along with planned cuts to services provided by hospitals for low-income and uninsured patients.”

HANYS President Bea Grause said, “Healthcare is complicated, but one thing is plain and simple: every New Yorker, regardless of their ability to pay, deserves access to healthcare when they need it. We need our congressional delegation, including Republicans and Democrats, to stand together to protect our health care and oppose devastating federal cuts. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for bringing us together today and for his enduring commitment to standing up for health care in New York State.”

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