Seventeen chief executive officers from some of the largest safety net hospitals in the country appealed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to increase funding for the nations healthcare safety net in crafting an economic stimulus package.
The rate of unemployment has increased dramatically in the last several months. Some economists predict that it could go far higher, the hospital leaders wrote in a letter to Pelosi.
In the last significant economic downturn from 1989 through 1993, the number of uninsured increased by 6.6 million. Many of those individuals found access to needed hospital care primarily in safety net hospital systems like ours, the letter stated. We urgently ask you to include in any stimulus legislation meaningful countercyclical measures targeted at safety net hospital systems and the vulnerable patient populations we serve. All of the signatories of the letter serve on the board of directors of the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems. -- by Jennifer Lubell
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