Healthcare groups weigh in on bipartisan budget deal: 5 reactions

A brief government shutdown ended Friday after President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan budget deal previously approved by Congress.

The deal includes various healthcare measures, including an extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program, funding for community health centers and a delay of ACA cuts to Disproportionate Share Hospitals.

Here are five reactions to the deal from major healthcare groups.

1. The American Hospital Association described provisions of the bill as advantageous for patients. "Today's continuing resolution includes many important provisions that benefit the patients and communities America's hospitals and health systems are privileged to serve each day," AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack said in a statement. "We look forward to continuing to work with Congress to advance health in America for patients and communities."

2. The Association of American Medical Colleges echoed the AHA's support of the deal. "The AAMC is very appreciative that lawmakers have come together in a bipartisan fashion to approve a budget deal that will allow for robust investment in agencies and programs vital to our nation's health security and will help safety-net hospitals continue to serve vulnerable patients," AAMC President and CEO Darrell Kirch, MD, said in a statement.

3. The Association for Community Affiliated Plans praised the deal's permanent authorization of the Medicare Advantage Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan program as well as its authorization for four additional years of CHIP funding. "While no bill is perfect, this law provides important protections and long-term stability for America's healthcare safety net and people who rely on Medicaid, CHIP and Medicare. We applaud its enactment," Margaret Murray, CEO of the ACAP, said in an emailed statement.'

4. AMGA specifically praised the deal's enactment of the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic Care Act of 2017. "AMGA has worked tirelessly with Congress on this important legislation and we are excited that it has been signed into law," Jerry Penso, MD, AMGA president and CEO, said in a statement. "The reforms in the CHRONIC Care Act will ensure that more Medicare beneficiaries can benefit from the innovative models of care that are the hallmark of AMGA's members."

5. America's Essential Hospitals called the deal "the right choice" by lawmakers. "We thank House and Senate lawmakers for delaying these cuts to Medicaid DSH payments. Their laudable bipartisanship on a two-year delay gives hospitals and policymakers time to find a long-term solution to uncompensated care costs, which threaten access to care in communities nationwide," Bruce Siegel, MD, president and CEO of America's Essential Hospitals, said in the statement. "We also appreciate that Congress has put the Children's Health Insurance Program on sound footing and shored up support for community health centers — both are key parts of the nation's healthcare safety net. Essential hospitals provide high-quality care for all people, regardless of their health needs and financial and social status. To continue meeting this mission, these hospitals need stable, sustainable federal support. We look forward to working with Congress toward that goal."



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