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Bipartisan Budget Agreement Becomes Law with HANYS’ Priorities Included

Early this morning, Congress passed and the President signed into law a bipartisan budget deal that lifts defense and non-defense spending caps by a total of nearly $300 billion over two years, raises the debt limit, and provides disaster aid for Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas, and California, among other provisions. The agreement includes a six-week Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government through March 23, allowing lawmakers additional time to write omnibus appropriations legislation for this federal fiscal year that conforms to the new spending totals.

The package includes several priority issues long sought by HANYS and our members, the American Hospital Association (AHA), and our state and regional advocacy partners, including:

  • a delay in Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) reductions that averts over $820 million in cuts to New York safety net hospitals over the next two years;
  • a reinstatement and five-year extension of both the Medicare Dependent Hospital (MDH) program and Medicare Low-Volume (LV) payment adjustment, with revisions to the LV policy that increase its overall value to New York State by nearly $16 million over five years and allows some additional New York hospitals to join the program. Together, the MDH and LV extensions represent a total of nearly $80 million in funding for rural and small communities hospitals across New York State;
  • an addition of four years to the previously-enacted Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) extension, bringing CHIP extension to a full ten years.

HANYS appreciates the strong leadership of Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), who was instrumental in securing key hospital and health system priorities and working with his colleagues in a bipartisan, bicameral way to achieve a long-term budget agreement, as well as the many members of the New York State Congressional Delegation who worked closely with HANYS to ensure our priorities were addressed while pushing back in good faith against harmful offsets.

The package is partially offset by a reduction to Medicare inpatient payments for patients who are discharged early to the hospice setting, and an extension of the 2% Medicare sequestration cuts for two years through 2027. HANYS' summary outlines other major hospital and health system provisions in the budget deal. Contact: Elyse Oveson

Published February 9, 2018