Schumer, NY House members protest Medicare cuts to NY hospitals

Sen. Charles Schumer and New York representatives from both parties are opposing a Trump administration proposal to cut Medicare payments to hospitals in expensive states like New York and divert the funds to those in areas with the lowest incomes.

The Senate’s Democratic minority announced Monday with two congressmen – Lee Zeldin, a Long Island Republican, and Brian Higgins, a Buffalo-area Democrat – that they were leading opposition by New York’s entire congressional delegation to the proposed change in what is known as Medicare’s area wage index. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services wants to cut funding for hospitals in the top quarter of wages and divert it those in the lowest quarter, effectively transferring federal money to rural states.

New York’s hospitals stand to lose $53 million a year, they said.

Schumer noted in a statement that New York hospitals often operate “on a razor-thin budget margin” and need adequate funding to attract doctors to a high-cost state.

“The struggles faced by New York’s hospitals are no different from the struggles faced by the countless others across the nation,” Shumer said. “They must not be allowed to suffer as a result of their zip code.”

Zeldin called CMS’s proposal “short-sighted” and urged it to “reverse course and take action that helps our communities’ hospitals instead of crippling them.”

Schumer, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and all 27 House members from New York signed a letter to Seema Verma, the CMS administrator, opposing the proposed funding shift.

“CMS argues that its proposed changes to AWI seek to help rural hospitals, yet, not one of New York’s rural hospitals – who face the same fiscal challenges as rural hospitals across the nation – would see a benefit from the policy,” the letter reads. “Rather, states like New York with many hospitals that have legitimately high wages commensurate with market competition will be forced to transfer hundreds of millions in Medicare funding to a small handful of states.”

Critics cast the proposal as a deliberate slight against New York, much as the capping of the state and local tax deduction in 2017 was rebuked as a snub against New York and other Democratic-leaning states.

“The area wage index proposal is a direct attack on New York that seeks to redistribute precious Medicare resources from New York to other states,” Bea Grause, president of the Healthcare Association of New York State, said in the statement released by Schumer’s office.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.
  • Categories

  • Archives