Engel Fights to Protect New York's Health Care System

Engel Fights to Protect New York’s Health Care System

Trump Administration decision not to renew critical New York health care program threatens access to care across the state

Engel secures commitment from the head of HHS to address the issue

This week, Congressman Eliot L. Engel, Co-Dean of the New York Congressional Delegation, participated in an Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing with Alex Azar, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, and secured a commitment from the Secretary to address the Department’s surprising decision not to renew New York’s successful Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) waiver. The decision would lead to an $8 billion cut to the state’s health care system and disproportionately affect seniors and low-income families.

Implemented in 2014, DSRIP was intended to use federal funding to transition New York towards value-based care, which would help reduce costs while improving care quality. New York’s health care community has made tremendous progress in achieving those goals; objectives that are also shared by the Trump Administration. Despite these shared goals, the Trump Administration abruptly decided to end the program as of March 31, 2020 in a letter to New York on February 21, 2020.

“The Trump Administration’s failure to renew the DSRIP waiver threatens health care access for many seniors and working families here in New York,” said Rep. Engel. “As I have said time and again: New York is NOT this Administration’s punching bag. DSRIP is a success story and needs to be treated as such. I will continue working with Secretary Azar, Governor Cuomo and the New York State Congressional delegation to get the waiver renewed.” 

“The decision to cancel funding for New York’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program will severely harm hospitals’ ability to build upon the major patient care improvements they made under the program,” said Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) President Kenneth E. Raske. “GNYHA thanks Representative Engel for his steadfast support of New York’s hospital community and the patients they serve.”

“New York’s hospitals and health systems applaud Rep. Engel’s tireless leadership to protect the Medicaid program from attacks on multiple fronts,” said HANYS President Bea Grause, RN, JD. “His work to secure a commitment from Secretary Azar to continue the discussion about New York's request for investment in DSRIP is a crucial development. We look forward to working together to find a pathway forward that enables New York’s healthcare providers to continue their innovative strides toward improving access to care for our most vulnerable patients.”

“The Federal government should invest more, not less, in proven healthcare reforms like DSRIP.  We applaud Congressman Engel’s leadership in pressing the Trump Administration for answers about their unjustified and abrupt denial of New York’s waiver extension, and look forward to working together to fight for the resources to improve healthcare for all New Yorkers,” Helen Schaub, New York State Director of Policy and Legislation, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.