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Advocacy

With two weeks left before the commonwealth confronts its June 30 constitutional deadline to pass a state spending plan for the coming fiscal year, Harrisburg is now in the midst of budget negotiations between the two legislative chambers and the administration.

Building on the strong legislative support for hospitals in the 2015-2016 state budget, HAP is asking state policy makers to maintain current year funding levels for all hospital payments, especially the MA supplemental funding for obstetric and neonatal services, hospital-based burn centers and trauma centers. In addition, HAP is advocating for a necessary increase in MA supplemental payments for critical access hospitals (CAH) to include a new CAH coming online in 2016-2017. HAP also supports the Governor’s proposed $1 increase in the state’s cigarette tax as well as any new taxes on other tobacco products.

As part of the Human Services Code legislation being considered in conjunction with the 2016-2017 General Budget bill, HAP is asking the General Assembly and Governor to reauthorize Philadelphia hospital assessment.

While a final agreement on the 2016-2017 state budget remains a work in progress, including agreement on the total spend number, recent actions by the legislature and the administration currently indicate a cordial working relationship between the two branches. It is clear that no one in Harrisburg wants to repeat 2015-2016 budget impasse.

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Unemployment, poverty, and low wages jeopardize Pennsylvania’s health as well as its economy. The many good jobs provided by Pennsylvania hospitals address these challenges in more ways than you might think.

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