June 22-26, 2001



WHEREAS, the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program is our nation's primary source of support for safety net hospitals that serve the most vulnerable populations --Medicaid beneficiaries, uninsured and underinsured; and

WHEREAS, for many hospitals, Medicaid DSH payments are the reason they are able to remain open to provide care; and

WHEREAS, despite DSH payments, significant Medicaid payment shortfalls exist for safety net hospitals with hospitals losing $7.9 billion on Medicaid and uninsured patients even after counting state and local government contributions to fund indigent care (according to analysis conducted by the Lewin Group using 1998 American Hospital Association survey data); and

WHEREAS, the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Benefits Improvement and Protection Act of 2000 provided temporary relief for the Medicaid DSH program, safety net hospitals could face a significant reduction in federal Medicaid DSH funding beginning in Federal Fiscal Year 2003,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors call on Congress to enact legislation to address the inadequate funding of the Medicaid DSH program; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that S. 572 and HR. 854, bipartisan legislation, would eliminate a scheduled falloff in federal Medicaid DSH funding so that in FY 2003 and beyond each state DSH program can grow with inflation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors calls upon Congress to enact the Medicaid Safety Net Hospital Improvement Act of 2001 (S. 776 and HR. 1604) introduced by Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Michael Enzi (R-WY) and Representatives Tom Barrett (D-WI) and Heather Wilson (R-NM), respectively; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that S. 776 and HR. 1604, bipartisan legislation, would increase the federal Medicaid DSH allotment for states whose Medicaid DSH programs are very small relative to their overall Medicaid program providing these states with greater resources to help their safety net hospitals; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayor's call upon Congress to enact these vital bills to preserve our nation's safety net hospitals.