Legislature Passes Budget that Invests in Health Care; Governor Wolf Vetoes the Spending Plan
During June, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed House Bill 1192, an alternative to what Governor Wolf introduced during his March budget address.
Although the Governor subsequently vetoed HB 1192, Pennsylvania hospitals continue to support the health care funding contained in the legislative budget bill because it:
- Rejects the Governor’s bid to increase the contribution of $130 million from the statewide hospital Quality Care Assessment to the General Fund—legislative leaders have indicated that they will reduce by roughly half, the additional contribution to the General Fund from the statewide hospital Quality Care Assessment
- Restores funding for the obstetrics/neonatal intensive care and advanced burn care
- Increases funding for the critical access hospitals which are most often Pennsylvania’s most remote health care providers
In addition, while they were working to pass HB 1192, legislative leaders and key staff in both Majority Caucuses demonstrated their willingness to work with HAP on necessary changes to the Public Welfare Code to allow for improved hospital payments, especially for payments related to outpatient and observation services.
HAP will continue to work with legislative leaders and the Administration on a final budget agreement that:
- Provides patients with access to the health care services they need
- Safeguards the financial stability of hospitals