President Donald Trump has signed a stop-gap measure to fund the government through December 20, averting a shutdown. This is the second stop-gap bill that has passed this Congress, the first of which funded the government from the beginning of fiscal year (FY) 2020, which began on October 1, through November 21.

Like the first stop-gap measure, this legislation extends funding for several important health care programs and delays Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) funding cuts until its expiration (the cuts were originally scheduled to begin on October 1 before being partially delayed). The Medicaid DSH cut delay is an important step forward, but Congress must go farther and pass at least a two-year delay of the cuts before the end of the calendar year. If Congress fails to do so, Medicaid DSH payments will be reduced by $4 billion in FY 2020 and $8 billion annually in FYs 2021-2025. GNYHA strongly supports the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s recently passed bipartisan bill that would eliminate the DSH cuts for 2.5 years.

We will continue to strongly advocate for the inclusion of the Energy and Commerce proposal in any end-of-year spending bill that passes. We will also push for the inclusion of other GNYHA priorities, such as the Opioid Workforce Act of 2019, and vigorously oppose any proposed cuts to hospitals.

We will keep our members apprised of all developments related to Medicaid DSH funding and any other hospital-related issues that come up during the appropriations process.