Wednesday, March 5th 2003

Dear Member of Congress:

The undersigned organizations strongly urge you to maintain your commitment to high quality, accessible health care for Medicare and Medicaid recipients by establishing both a Medicare reserve fund and a Medicaid reserve fund in your FY 2004 budget blueprint.

America’s health care system faces many serious challenges.  We applaud Congress’ efforts to thoroughly and thoughtfully debate solutions.  While this debate proceeds, hospitals role as the nation’s health care safety net is being jeopardized by increased demand, workforce shortages, the rising costs of providing care, technology and drugs, runaway malpractice premium increases, bioterrorism preparedness efforts, and funding cuts that went into effect last year for the Medicare Indirect Medical Education (IME) and Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) programs.  Moreover, support for rural health care must be expanded to help rural health care givers.

If adequate financial resources are denied to hospitals, critical health care services will continue to be jeopardized.  We urge you to reject any reductions in hospital funding, and then to set aside both Medicare and Medicaid reserve funds in your FY 2004 budget resolution.

Thank you for your thoughtful consideration.  We look forward to working with you during the 108th Congress to ensure that America’s hospitals can continue to provide the services our patients and communities need.


American Hospital Association
Association of American Medical Colleges
Federation of American Hospitals
National Association of Children’s Hospitals
National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems
National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems
Premier, Inc.
VHA Inc.

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