Michigan Congressional Delegation Urges Support for Hospitals
Posted on April 10, 2020
MHA Applauds Michigan House Members for Leadership
Michigan’s U.S. House of Representatives members today sent a bipartisan, joint letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-HY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) urging Congress to include a forgiveness provision for federal hospital funding in all future COVID-19 relief packages. The letter was spearheaded by Reps. Debbie Dingell and Fred Upton. It was signed by Reps. Dingell and Upton, as well as Reps. Jack Bergman, Bill Huizenga, Dan Kildee, Brenda Lawrence, Andy Levin, Paul Mitchell, John Moolenaar, Elissa Slotkin, Haley Stevens, Rashida Tlaib and Tim Walberg. The payments for COVID-19 relief are vital to ensure Michigan hospitals – and hospitals in other states – can continue to provide critical care to COVID-19 patients now and preserve access to all care for their communities going forward. The forgiveness of these payments will prevent an insurmountable financial burden to hospitals across the state.
“On behalf of Michigan hospitals and the patients they serve, we want to applaud the leadership of Congresswoman Dingell and Congressman Upton for their bipartisan leadership throughout this pandemic,” stated MHA CEO Brian Peters. “We greatly appreciate the support of all Michigan United States Representatives who signed onto this letter, and we look forward to continued support from Congress for hospitals, who are on the front lines of this battle against COVID-19.”
According to initial estimates from the MHA, hospitals in Michigan are losing more than $300 million a week due to severely reduced revenues as elective procedures have been eliminated. At the same time, Michigan hospitals have spent well over $100 million on surge capacity expenses such as supplies, protective equipment, staffing and more.
“The repayment of these loans will be a significant financial burden at a time when Michigan hospitals are likely to still be responding to or recovering from this pandemic,” the lawmakers wrote to Congressional leadership. “As we gather more data on the financial impact to Michigan hospitals, current allocations from the state and federal governments are likely to be significantly inadequate in keeping hospitals on solid financial footing. We look forward to working with you on future funding issues but believe that forgiving these Medicare accelerated payments will be an important next step in the ongoing pandemic response.”
Michigan’s elected officials have shown strong support to the healthcare community throughout this crisis, supporting the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act across political aisles and staying in consistent communication with the hospital community about their needs for additional supplies, testing and more. Hospitals across Michigan continue to see increased cases of COVID-19 patients as the state nears the expected timeframes for peak surge of the virus. The MHA is providing updated COVID-19 information for hospitals, the media and the public on its dedicated COVID-19 website.
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