A Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government in FY 2021 should eliminate a cut in federal Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allotments to the states, and the Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania has written to the state’s congressional delegation asking its members to convey this message to congressional leaders.
The cut was mandated by the 2010 Affordable Care Act but has never been implemented.
In its letter to the delegation, SNAP wrote that
The Medicaid DSH cut was predicated on the expectation that the Affordable Care Act would greatly reduce the number of uninsured Americans, and while it has, millions remain uninsured, including nearly 700,000 Pennsylvanians – a number thought to be rising because of the job loss associated with COVID-19. When these people are sick or injured, most will turn to the state’s 41 private safety-net hospitals for care. These hospitals depend heavily on their Medicaid DSH payments to underwrite the cost of care for their uninsured patients, so they have never needed the resources afforded by Medicaid DSH more than they do today. Congress has always questioned the wisdom of this cut and has never permitted those cuts to go into effect. The most recent delay expires after November 30..
Because they serve so many uninsured and underinsured patients, Medicaid DSH payments from the state are especially important for Pennsylvania’s safety-net hospitals.