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Rep. Buerkle Introduces Legislation to Help Hospitals


Location: Washington, DC

Today, Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25) introduced the Help Our Hospitals Act of 2011, which repeals a section of the President's Health Care Law that cuts Medicare Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments to hospitals.

Disproportionate Share Hospital payments are provided by the United States government to hospitals that receive a significant portion of their revenue from Medicare or serve a large population of low-income senior citizens. Under the President's Health Care Law, those payments will be drastically reduced beginning in fiscal year 2014, having a negative impact on hospitals across the country. Many of these hospitals rely on DSH funding to meet the needs of their most vulnerable patients and reductions to their funding will jeopardize their ability to care for them.

"This legislation is a step in the right direction in the fight to repeal the onerous provisions in the President's Health Care Law. The President's call for DSH payment cuts of this nature ignores the needs of low income patients and is dangerous to our hospitals' economic stability," said Rep. Buerkle.

"There are multiple hospitals who utilize DSH in my district and in discussing this issue with the leaders of those institutions I am keenly aware of how important these payments are to their ability to serve Medicare patients."

"It is estimated that with these cuts, hospitals nationwide will lose $22 billion by 2019, with New York State hospitals seeing a reduction of $2.9 billion. The major hospitals in my district alone will see a reduction of more than $50 million."

"True health care reform is needed, but it cannot be achieved by sacrificing the level of care that our hospitals provide. We must equip our hospitals with the resources they need to serve low-income seniors and Medicare patients."

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