Friday, June 14th 2002

Dear Senator or Representative:

America’s hospitals and health systems are writing to emphasize the importance of enacting Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) legislation this year.  We strongly support two bipartisan bills that address the adequacy of DSH, one of our nation’s few sources of financing for care to the uninsured and underinsured.

The Medicaid Safety Net Hospital Continued Preservation Act of 2001 (S. 572/H.R. 854), introduced by Senators Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) and Bob Graham (D-FL), and Representatives Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Diana DeGette (D-CO), would eliminate a scheduled FY 2003 falloff, or “cliff,” in federal Medicaid DSH funding and permit each state DSH program to grow with inflation.

The Medicaid Safety Net Hospital Improvement Act of 2001 (S. 776/H.R. 1604), introduced by Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Mike Enzi (R-WY), and Representatives Thomas Barrett (D-WI) and Heather Wilson (R-NM), would permit extremely low-DSH states to increase their DSH allotments to 3 percent of Medicaid spending.

We urge you to pass both DSH bills this year.  Medicaid DSH is a crucial source of support for low-income care in this country.  Medicaid DSH payments ensure low income and uninsured patient access to vital hospital services including trauma and burn care, high-risk neonatal care, and specialty children’s care.  With concerns about the number of uninsured growing, and the need to ensure a strong, viable health care safety net in the face of multiple challenges, action is needed this year on Medicaid DSH.


American Hospital Association
Association of American Medical Colleges
Catholic Health Association of the United States
Community Hospital Medical Education Alliance
Federation of American Hospitals
Healthcare Financial Management Association
National Association of Children’s Hospitals
National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems
National Association of Urban Hospitals
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