Hospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless ‘Build Back Better’ plan
In President Biden’s America, “Build Back Better” means cutting spending for hospitals that provide care to underserved communities to fund tax cuts for the super wealthy. It’s quite an example of just how far the Democrats’ socialist agenda has taken them from reality.
Buried deep within Biden’s reckless tax-and-spending-spree package are devastating and vindictive payment cuts to state Uncompensated Care Pool (UCP) programs and a 12.5 percent reduction from Disproportionate Share Hospital Payments (DSH).
What does that mean? As we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi want to slash federal funds to hospitals who care for low-income patients, along with those who are underserved and uninsured. These patients, who are currently eligible for charitable and low-income assistance, may begin seeing medical bills and incurring medical debt.
It’s worth noting these cuts are not happening in every state. Rather, Biden and Pelosi have targeted states that have opted to not expand Medicaid — Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
These cuts to DSH and UCP programs will reduce federal funding for providers in 12 states by $34.5 billion over 10 years. Broken down, that’s $4.2 billion in DSH cuts to hospitals in 12 states, and $30 billion in cuts to UCP programs in Texas, Florida, Tennessee and Kansas.
Even worse, all of this appears to have been done in secret. After receiving a letter from Sen. Scott on Nov. 5 warning about the disastrous impacts of these proposed cuts to charity care providers, House Democrats in the 12 impacted states wrote a letter to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer saying they had not been informed of this addition to the bill. They warned “limiting uncompensated care (UC) pools and cutting disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments is a misguided penalty that puts our most vulnerable constituents at risk.”
Of course, we’ve seen this partisan, vindictive behavior before. This is just a repeat of Obama administration’s failed health care playbook. Biden and Pelosi have written the bill to punish states that have not adopted their progressive health care agenda. They do this by cutting the availability of care targeted to the poor.
You would think that Democrats — with full control of the House, Senate and the White House — would be doing everything they could to slow rising prices and make life more affordable for American families. And you would think that Democrats would want to partner with their Republican colleagues to focus on legislation that expands opportunity and freedom. Not in a Washington controlled by socialists Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
Here is what is clear from Biden and Pelosi’s priorities in this reckless bill: the Democratic Party, terrified of upsetting its elite liberal base, does not care about helping low-income and working-class American families. Biden’s “Build Back Broke” plan adds trillions to the federal deficit, which will only further fuel his raging inflation crisis that just last month hit the highest levels seen in more than 30 years. The plan also includes massive SALT tax breaks for Democrats’ rich blue-state donors while raising taxes on working, middle class Americans. In today’s Democratic Party, it’s socialism over everything, even when that means hurting families and small businesses with more taxes, more regulation and more inflation. We completely oppose it and the radical agenda the Democrats in Washington have adopted as their new religion.
The disastrous cuts to charity care providers that Pelosi and Biden are pushing are just what we’ve come to expect in Democrat-controlled Washington. Cutting this care to help pay for tax cuts for the rich makes no sense and can’t be allowed to pass. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to fight like hell to stop this and we hope at least some of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle will join us.
For Democrats, the question is simple: are you willing to cut services and hurt families in your own state to appease Pelosi and conform with her tyrannical House? The answer should be easy: “No.” We’ll keep fighting for the families of our states and urge others in Washington to have the courage to do the same.
Rick Scott is the junior senator from Florida and Ted Cruz is the junior senator from Texas.