Congressman Paul Cook Urges House Leadership to Maintain Medicaid Funding for Rural Hospitals

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– Last week, Congressman Paul Cook and Congressman Josh Harder led a bipartisan group of California House colleagues in sending a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, urging no reductions to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) allotments.

Medicaid DSH is an essential funding source helping safety-net hospitals serve the uninsured and underinsured residents of their communities. The scheduled funding cuts were adopted based on the assumption that the Affordable Care Act would greatly reduce the number of uninsured Americans, but that number has not fallen as much as anticipated. Nearly 30 million Americans, including 2.9 million Californians, remain without health insurance. DSH payments help offset the cost of care hospitals provide to uninsured and underinsured, while also facilitating outreach to rural communities and underserved communities.

Congressman Cook said, “This critical funding ensures that our hospitals can continue providing care, especially in rural communities where people face limited access to medical services. I thank Congressman Harder and an overwhelming bipartisan majority of the California delegation for joining me on this important issue.”

Congressman Harder said, “We need to support hospitals that serve rural patients and folks who don’t have insurance – these cuts will cause serious issues for local hospitals and we have to stop them. I’m pleased to work with Congressman Cook on this important issue for our communities, and to see so much bipartisan support for protecting this funding and ensuring our rural hospitals can stay afloat.”

Victorville-based Desert Valley Hospital CEO Fred Hunter said, “Congressman Cook has been a long-time supporter of the hospitals in our community. We particularly appreciate his leadership in urging his fellow members of Congress to halt the scheduled Medicaid DSH funding cuts, which — if implemented — would slash more than a half-million dollars every year from our hospital. This funding helps pay for vital patient care and preventive services to those who are uninsured or underinsured in our community. Congressman Cook has been a true champion in the effort to stop these devastating cuts.”

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