Short-term budget deal good for health care and hospitals

February 9, 2018

Early this morning Congress passed a sweeping budget bill that funds the federal government through March 23, 2018. WSHA is very pleased the bill also includes a number of important health care provisions, including fixing — at least in the short term — some payment issues that WSHA members have been advocating for the past few months. WSHA also applauds the American Hospital Association for its work.

Important provisions include:

  • Repeal of sequestration for FY 2018 and 2019;
  • An increase in overall spending limits for FY 2018 and 2019;
  • An increase in the debt ceiling to allow federal borrowing until March 1, 2019;
  • A two-year delay in the Medicaid DSH cuts;
  • A five-year extension of expired rural Medicare provisions, including low-volume, Medicare-dependent and rural ambulance add-on payments; and
  • Funding for CHIP for four additional years (in addition to the six years funded in December).

Thanking our delegation
WSHA urges hospitals/health systems to thank the senators and your representative for their work on health care issues in this budget. We recommend sending an email to the health legislative assistant and the chief of staff. Click here for their contact information. Here’s what we recommend:

“I am writing to say thank you for your work and vote on the recent budget deal. There were several provisions in the legislation that will help my hospital/health system continue to deliver high-quality services to Medicare enrollees. We specifically appreciate the removal of sequestration and xx [please personalize].”

Attached is a summary of the measure. AHA members also should have received the association’s summary of the measure earlier today. WSHA will continue to analyze the impacts of the measure.

For more information, contact Chelene Whiteaker (206-215-2545 or or John Flink (


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