Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin has signed on as a co-sponsor of bi-partisan legislation, the Hospital Payment Fairness Act, which would directly benefit Wisconsin hospitals, businesses and families.
The legislation, sponsored by Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO), fixes a Medicare reimbursement provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that has been a windfall to Massachusetts hospitals at the expense of hospitals in other states, including Wisconsin. The Hospital Payment Fairness Act reverses this provision, returning Medicare hospital reimbursements to the state-based pools that existed before the ACA.
"I am committed to working across party lines to make the Affordable Care Act work for Wisconsin and fix what doesn’t. I am proud to support a bipartisan solution that will improve health care reform for Wisconsin citizens," Baldwin said.
Senator Baldwin previously met with the Wisconsin Hospital Association and other Wisconsin stakeholders to discuss the issue and determine what works best for families and businesses in the state.
"On behalf of hospitals across the state of Wisconsin, we thank Senator Baldwin for cosponsoring this legislation. The Hospital Payment Fairness Act corrects a situation that has resulted in the annual loss of millions of dollars in Medicare payments to Wisconsin hospitals," said Wisconsin Hospital Association President Steve Brenton. "We greatly appreciate Senator Baldwin's support for this bipartisan solution and look forward to working with her towards enactment."
Baldwin was also one of two Democrats who co-sponsored a budget amendment that would accomplish the same goal of reversing what critics call the “Bay State Boondoggle,” which has cost Wisconsin hospitals $16.9 million. The amendment passed the Senate 68-31 with bi-partisan support and was included in the final budget package passed early Saturday morning.
“Wisconsin hospitals deserve a fair shake – and that means that all hospitals should have to play by the same rules. This bill evens the playing field, allowing for geographic and economic differences in our country, but ensuring no one state benefits while other states like Wisconsin pay the price,” said Baldwin.