On June 30, the state constitutional deadline for a budget,
the legislature sent Governor Wolf a $32 billion spending plan to fund the 2017–18
fiscal year. On July 10, the deadline
for the Governor to accept or veto the spending plan, he allowed the budget to
become law without his signature absent a revenue package.
For Pennsylvania’s hospital community, Harrisburg recognized
the important partnership between government and hospital facilities for the
care and services they provide in addition to job creation and economic
contributions. The 2017–18 spending plan
did not reduce supplemental Medical Assistance payments for hospital obstetric
and neonatal, burn, and trauma services and also kept funding for critical
access hospitals level.
However, the current situation still leaves Harrisburg
lawmakers trying to find ways to fund the approved spending plan and fix a
roughly $2 billion budget deficit from last fiscal year. Absent any broad-based
tax increases or other significant new revenue, Harrisburg lawmakers are forced
to consider one-time funding options and other creative ways to fill in the
gaps. This includes borrowing against the Tobacco Settlement Fund.
will remain vigilant in ensuring that Pennsylvania’s hospital community is
heard as funding sources are being considered and deliberated. Pennsylvania’s
hospital community is a core government function and valuable partnership
benefiting the entire commonwealth.