Well before the Covid pandemic, many hospitals, especially those serving poor communities, suffered from financial difficulties, with many of them closing. This has not been because they weren’t needed -- in fact, many closures have occurred in communities with great unmet health needs. It is because of the way we pay for health care in the United States. Too many people have no coverage, or inadequate coverage, and too many hospitals receive inadequate reimbursement. The Covid pandemic has tragically further exposed this broken financing system, as hospitals were busier than ever -- literally overflowing with severely ill patients -- yet were financially stressed due to more profitable elective patient care being postponed.
Despite this, senior leadership at many hospitals openly oppose single payer and its local form, the New York Health Act. This forum will explore the failures of the current way we finance hospitals and how the New York Health Act would benefit hospitals and the people they serve. We call on hospital leaders to support the New York Health Act (A.6058/S.5474) and, nationally the legislation that would create improved and expanded Medicare for All (HR-1976).