July 21, 2009: MASS. CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION FIGHTS TO PRESERVE FUNDING FOR BAY STATE HOSPITALS

Washington, D.C.— Representative Edward Markey (D-Mass.), along with the entire Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, today sent a letter to the three chairmen of the congressional committees considering H.R. 3200, the comprehensive health care reform legislation moving through Congress.  In the letter, the entire Massachusetts Congressional Delegation expressed its strong support for provisions in the current version of the bill that ensure Medicare payments to hospitals in Massachusetts and states with similar Medicare payment levels would not be reduced as adjustments in Medicare payment levels may be made to account for geographic differences between various regions of the country.


As we continue working to reform our broken health care system, we must preserve the ability of our world-class hospitals in Massachusetts to carry out their vital mission,” said Markey. “While Medicare reforms should be implemented, it must not occur in a way that disadvantages our hospitals, which deliver life-saving cures, cutting-edge research and outstanding training for the next generation of physicians and health care professionals.  As the legislative process moves forward, I look forward to continuing to work on this issue, which is vital both for our state and the entire nation.”

 

As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I have been a strong and consistent advocate for our region’s community and teaching hospitals for many years. Not only do they provide some of the finest health care in the world, they are an essential component of our local economy. As the debate to reform our health care system continues, protecting our region’s hospitals will remain one of my top priorities,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal.

 

Massachusetts has been in a leader in health reform, and we have some of the best hospitals in the country,” Rep. James McGovern said.  “As health care reform moves forward, it is essential that the legislation does not treat our state unfairly.  I look forward to working with my colleagues in the best interest of the patients and health care providers in Massachusetts.”

 

It is essential for teaching hospitals in the Sixth Congressional District and across the Commonwealth to maintain and build upon their successful education programs focused on developing a new generation of practicing physicians and medical personnel,” said Congressman John F. Tierney (D-MA). “I will keep working with my Massachusetts colleagues on this important issue to ensure that we safeguard in the health care reform legislation an appropriate means to protect the development of health care professionals.” 

 

Congressman Ed Markey deserves great credit for mobilizing our entire delegation to speak out that keeping Massachusetts’s teaching hospitals financially fertile is advantageous to everyone,” said Congressman Barney Frank (MA-4).  “These centers of excellence are critical to the nation’s reforming healthcare delivery system by providing professionals who advance medical treatment and research.”

 

It is critical that any healthcare reform legislation also include sufficient funds to operate our nation’s top teaching hospitals,” said Rep. William Delahunt.  “They are at the forefront in training our next generation of doctors and medical personnel, while also performing critical research and providing patients with high quality health care.”

 

I am closely monitoring this aspect of health care reform because its impact on Massachusetts and my district in particular, is so great. Any efforts to reduce the level of funding to teaching hospitals could seriously jeopardize their ability to effectively treat patients, train future doctors, and carry out research of global importance,” stated Congressman Mike Capuano.

 

"As the House of Representatives continues to work on health care legislation that expands coverage and lowers costs system wide, it is essential we do not hinder the ability of our hospitals and physicians to carry out these reforms," said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas.  "The concerns expressed by myself and my colleagues in this letter reflect our desire to see Massachusetts hospitals continue to provide outstanding health care services in our communities and be reimbursed at a level commensurate with these services."

 

Boston teaching hospitals are on the leading edge of innovation in health care and breakthrough treatments for some of our deadliest diseases. Our teaching hospitals set the gold standard in preparing new medical professionals, performing highly specialized procedures and providing regional trauma care. These teaching hospitals are also a vital part of Boston’s economy. As health care reform legislation continues to move through the House of Representatives, I want to commend the Chairmen of the House TriCommittee for considering the unique needs and demographics of the Boston area as well as these vital institutions as the draft bill moves forward,” Congressman Stephen F. Lynch said.

 

A full text of the letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman can be found at: http://markey.house.gov/images/PDFs/massachusetts%20delegation%20letter%20-%20waxman%20-%20hospitals%20-%207-21-09.pdf

 

Identical letters were sent to the Ways and Means and Education and Labor committee chairmen.