Each year when the
state budget is introduced, HAP analyzes the proposed blueprint. The
association looks for any hospital-related budget line items that have been
reduced or cut out, and advocates for restoration of those dollars. HAP also
works to secure commitments for new hospital initiatives if necessary. State
budget advocacy involves working closely with state lawmakers, especially
leaders and key committee chairs, as well as the Governor’s office and cabinet
officials. HAP also engages its members to educate officials about the proposed
budget’s impact on hospital and their patients and communities.
Governor Tom Wolf’s
2019–2020 state budget calls for $34.1 billion in general fund spending. The
budget plan addresses three hospital priorities:
- Maintains funding levels for Medical
Assistance supplemental payments for critical access hospitals,
obstetrics/neonatal units, burn care centers, and trauma centers
- Preserves Tobacco Settlement Fund
monies used for hospital uncompensated care and extraordinary care expenses to
help cover costs for services to under- and uninsured patients
- Upholds the five-year Quality Care
Assessment funding agreement which benefits hospitals and the general fund
State Budget Advocacy Efforts
HAP has learned that $64 million in
Tobacco Settlement Fund (TSF) monies that go to hospitals are in jeopardy.
Nearly every hospital in the
commonwealth receives uncompensated care, extraordinary expense payments, or
CURE money for research from the TSF. HAP has launched a
grassroots call-to-action advocacy campaign
to all member hospital and health system employees seeking to prevent monies
from the TSF from being used for non-health care-related priorities.
Please send a short email to your state representative and
senator asking him or her to use all the Pennsylvania TSF for health care this
year and not for debt service payments or any other purpose.