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Rep. Salazar Supports Legislation That Protects Medicaid Funding For Colorado Hospitals

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Salazar Supports Legislation That Protects Medicaid Funding For Colorado Hospitals

U.S. Rep. John Salazar (CO-3) is co-sponsoring a bill that protects $256 million in Medicaid funds for Colorado hospitals over the next two years. Under a rule proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), local hospitals would lose $128 million annually in federal funds.

"Hospitals cannot afford any more budget cuts and rural Coloradans cannot afford any more cuts to their health care," Rep. Salazar said. "Many of my constituents who depend on these services already have a hard enough time finding a health care provider."

H.R. 1741 would suspend implementation of the proposed rule for two years. The delay would allow a careful review of the possible impacts these budget cuts could have, especially on Medicaid.

The proposed rule would affect several hospitals including the Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center, Aspen Valley Hospital, Delta County Memorial Hospital, Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango, Gunnison Valley Hospital, Montrose Memorial Hospital, Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez, and Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center in Walsenburg.

Medicaid and Medicare budget cuts have already hurt patients in rural Colorado. In March, Valley-Wide Health Systems, a La Plata primary health care provider, shut its doors after several years of operating at a loss, leaving up to 10,000 Medicare and Medicaid patients without health care.

This year, State Senator Abel Tapia (D-Pueblo) and State Representative Bernie Buescher (D-Grand Junction) passed a Senate Joint Memorial calling on Congress to enact legislation preventing the CMS rule change.

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