Engel Receives Congressional Leader Award for Work to Protect Local Hospitals

Engel Receives Congressional Leader Award for Work to Protect Local Hospitals


This week, Congressman Eliot L. Engel was awarded the Congressional Leader Award by America’s Essential Hospitals for his leadership in preventing devastating cuts to the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payment program.


“I am honored to receive the Congressional Leader Award from America’s Essential Hospitals, which has been an invaluable ally in our effort to protect Medicaid DSH,” Engel said. “This issue is very important to me and my constituents. I represent several communities that are classified as medically underserved, so protecting quality, affordable health care options is a major concern of mine. That’s why I have always remained at the forefront of this issue. Though my colleagues and I were successful in ushering bipartisan legislation, that I helped author, through the Energy and Commerce Committee that prevents these cuts, our work is far from over. We must keep up the pressure to preserve this vital safety-net program and stop disastrous Medicaid DSH cuts.”


"Rep. Engel has been a steadfast champion in Congress for vulnerable patients and essential hospitals. With this award, we recognize his leadership to protect access to care in underserved communities and applaud his commitment to the nation's health care safety net," said Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, President and CEO of America's Essential Hospitals.


The Medicaid DSH program provides New York’s 200 safety-net hospitals with $1.8 billion annually to support health care programs for low-income and vulnerable communities. Without Congressional action, this critical program for safety-net hospitals will be drastically cut.


To preserve this lifeline, Congressman Engel co-led a letter to House leadership with Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX), which was signed by 300 bipartisan Members, on May 13, 2019. This letter urged Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy to delay or eliminate these cuts.


To build on this effort, Congressman Engel authored an amendment that passed the Energy and Commerce committee with unanimous bipartisan support on July 17, 2019. If enacted, this legislation would preserve $16 billion of Medicaid DSH payments over three years. Engel is a top Member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.