Congressional Delegation Statement on Release of $90.5 Million for RI Hospitals
PROVIDENCE, RI – Today, the Trump Administration released the first allocation of funding for hospitals under the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law No. 116-136). The Trump Administration is releasing $30 billion today in coronavirus relief funding directed toward hospitals and providers in this initial wave of funds.
Under the Administration’s formula, a greater share of federal funding will go to hospitals that have more traditional Medicare volume. As a result, Rhode Island health care providers are slated to receive $90.5 million in CARES Act funding.
U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline all voted to make $100 billion available for hospitals nationwide in the CARES Act. The delegation says the funds are critical, but expressed frustration with the Trump Administration’s formula for initial payments and noted that is doesn’t fully reflect the need in Rhode Island.
The delegation issued the following joint statement:
“Hospitals are seeing a surge in COVID-19 patients and this federal funding will help ensure they can continue to save lives, serve communities, and bolster our health care system. The distribution formula for this wave of funding falls short of what is needed. We will continue pressing the Trump Administration to release more funding for Rhode Island and ensure our hospitals have the personal protective equipment for staff and enough beds, respirators, and ventilators to care for patients. The next round of funding should be distributed in a way that fairly allocates this funding.”
The Trump Administration also announced it plans to redirect a portion of the $100 billion meant for hospitals to help cover the costs of COVID-19 treatments for uninsured payments.
The delegation noted that it would be much more cost effective to give emergency funds to hospitals now to help them survive and reopen the Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment window to ensure millions of Americans could access affordable health insurance. They note that Trump’s current plan would block people from accessing affordable health insurance; cost the government more money; and create a confusing new system to pay for uninsured COVID-19 expenses that will erect red tape and drain billions of dollars from hospitals. The Trump Administration’s plan also does nothing to help people if they have any other kind of non-COVID-19 health problem and need to see a doctor.
They also praised Governor Raimondo for proactively reopening the enrollment window for HealthSource RI and urge the President to reverse course and do the moral and economically responsible thing by reopening the HealthCare.gov enrollment window.
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