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Wednesday, May 7th 2003

The Honorable Jeff Bingaman
United States Senate
703 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Bingaman:

On behalf of our many hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care, we are writing to express our strong support for your amendment to be offered at the Senate Finance Committee markup of the "Jobs and Growth Tax Act of 2003."  This amendment would allow "extremely low-DSH states" to increase Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) program spending to 3 percent of Medicaid program costs in fiscal year 2004.

Current law restricts federal Medicaid DSH allotments to "extremely low-DSH states" to only 1 percent of Medicaid program costs.  Presently, safety net hospitals are facing a confluence of challenges - including increased uncompensated care due to the rise in the uninsured population - that is putting critical pressure on hospitals' ability to serve their entire communities.  Your amendment would help hospitals continue their mission of guaranteeing access to quality health care for all Americans.

Again, we strongly support your Medicaid "low-DSH" amendment and will work to help ensure its adoption in the Finance Committee.


American Hospital Association
Association of American Medical Colleges
Federation of American Hospitals
National Association of Children's Hospitals
National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems


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