Medicaid Cuts Would Crush California Hospitals
Jun 30 2017
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) called on Republicans to halt their attacks on the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, an effort that would devastate California hospitals.
The Senate Republican health care bill ends the federal-state partnership on Medicaid, reducing the federal contribution to the program by $772 billion over 10 years.
This means that by 2027, California would be required to pay an additional $30 billion per year to maintain services for Medicaid beneficiaries. If the state couldn’t find that money, it would be forced to kick millions off of the program or significantly reduce covered services.
“Our children’s hospitals perform miracles every day, helping patients and contributing to groundbreaking research that leads to better care and treatment,” Feinstein said. “Our state’s Disproportionate Share Hospitals serve our state’s poorest citizens, treating everyone who comes through their doors. To force these first-rate hospitals to reduce services or treat fewer patients is unconscionable, but that’s just what the Republican bill would do.”
Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera
- 75 percent of patients covered by Medi-Cal.
- 350,000 patient visits per year.
Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles
- 72 percent of patients covered by Medi-Cal.
- 600,000 patient visits per year.
U.C. San Francisco Benioff
- 70 percent of patients covered by Medi-Cal.
- 250,000 patient visits per year.
Disproportionate Share Hospital
Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital in South Los Angeles
- 70 percent of patients covered by Medi-Cal.
- 77,000 patient visits per year.
Statements from California health care leaders
Dr. Michael Anderson, president, U.C. San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospitals
“These dramatic cuts will cause children’s hospitals to reevaluate and cut some programs. All kids will be impacted, not just those on Medicaid. The other key points of our mission, like research and teaching would be affected as well. Should the Better Care Reconciliation Act pass, make no mistake, children will suffer or die. That’s a given if you cut Medicaid to the extent being proposed today.”
Dr. Todd Suntrapak, CEO of Valley Children’s Hospital in Fresno on their future under the Senate Republican bill:
“When financial reserves are depleted it will be more difficult to maintain the depth of services we provide. We may be forced to consolidate service sites in rural counties. The Senate version is even more draconian than the House bill on the Medicaid cuts, and it’s very likely that some children’s hospitals won’t be able to keep their doors open at some point down the road.
“What people don’t understand is that for around 95 percent of children’s hospitals at least half of patients are enrolled in Medicaid. Children’s hospitals train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists. Funding cuts for poor children affect all children. That’s because funding cuts for children enrolled in Medicaid threaten the very viability of pediatric health care in this country.
“When Medicaid kids are harmed, non-Medicaid kids are harmed because there will be fewer children’s hospitals and fewer pediatric specialists to care for all children. Fewer programs and services will be available to all children. The health of children is so closely entwined and cuts across all demographics.”
Paul Viviano, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles:
“Children’s Hospital Los Angeles would do everything it could to remain open but we wouldn’t be able to keep our doors open without making substantial cuts. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is the only top 10 pediatric hospital in the nation that is also a safety-net provider. With 72 percent of our patients on Medi-Cal, cutting Medicaid funding would likely threaten the breadth and depth of our programs, putting at risk life-saving services that serve not just Los Angeles but the whole West Coast. The impact of this bill would undoubtedly put our mission at risk.”
Dr. Elaine Batchlor, CEO of Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital:
“Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital in South Los Angeles opened its doors in 2015. We serve a community in which over one-third of the population lives below the federal poverty line. Seventy percent of our patients receive coverage through Medicaid, 25 percent of which attained coverage through Medicaid expansion. There are simply not enough doctors in the surrounding community to meet its needs and many of our patients come to our hospital for primary care services.
“Like other underserved communities throughout California, we see a high rate of chronic illnesses, such as hypertension and diabetes that have gone on untreated for far too long and thus progressed to dire stages. In fact, we perform amputations on a weekly basis for patients who, prior to the ACA, were not able to receive adequate treatment for diabetes because they did not qualify for coverage.
“Additionally, Medicaid reimbursements account for nearly 60 percent of our hospital’s annual revenue and the cuts proposed by the Republican health care bill would be financially catastrophic to our hospital and would inhibit our ability to serve those in Los Angeles who desperately need quality healthcare.”