Letter: Pay hospitals
President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress have made repeal of the Affordable Care Act a top priority in 2017, and House Republicans have given us the first peek at what that repeal may ultimately look like. While I support repealing the ACA, I urge Sen. Gardner and the rest of the Colorado delegation to ensure that this legislation includes an immediate restoration of Medicare reimbursement payments to hospitals, which the ACA took away when it became law.
In Colorado alone, the state stands to lose $3.2 billion between now and 2018 unless there is a swift restoration of funding. This would have an enormous impact on rural communities, where access to care is already spotty and patients must endure long drive times to hospitals. If these medical facilities are forced to shut their doors, emergency services will be strained and many rural Coloradans seeking medical attention will face significant hurdles to access care.
In addition to the much-needed medical care, hospitals are a huge economic benefit to rural communities, providing residents with stable, well-paying jobs. If these hospitals are forced to close, it will harm the economy and reduce employment in impacted communities.
It is worth noting that the Colorado Legislature recently passed a resolution recognizing rural hospitals in the state and declaring March 8 to be “Protecting Rural Hospitals Day.” I am sure the future of Colorado’s rural hospitals is as important to our congressional delegation as it is to the General Assembly, and I urge Sen. Gardner to take this opportunity to work with a Republican Congress and the Trump administration to turn campaign rhetoric into meaningful legislation.
It is crucial that Medicare reimbursements to hospitals are restored to the levels they were at before the ACA was passed. With leadership from the likes of Sen. Gardner, Colorado’s hospitals and residents will not continue to suffer from failed policies imposed by Washington.
Sen. Ray Scott
Colorado Senate District 7
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