ICYMI: Gary Peters Fighting to Ensure Michigan Receives COVID-19 Hospital Funding

Peters leads new report showing Trump administration failed to send hospital funding for Michigan; calls for immediate action 

As Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, U.S. Senator Gary Peters released a report revealing that the Trump Administration has delayed distributing $72 billion in hospital relief, and neglected supporting hard hit communities in Michigan. 

These funds are crucial for hospitals experiencing a financial crisis amid the COVID-19 pandemic and in preparing for a possible second wave. Gary will continue fighting to make sure Michigan hospitals have the resources they need.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Detroit Free Press: Report: Michigan hospitals shorted $130K per COVID-19 patient in federal aid

  • A new report analyzing how federal coronavirus relief money was distributed shows stark disparities in which states got the biggest portions of $175 billion in aid from the Provider Relief Fund, which includes money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
  • Hospitals in the states hardest hit by the virus in March and April — New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania — got the least amount of federal support per patient, according to a 17-page report released Tuesday by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat and ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
  • “Places like Detroit did not receive the funds despite being hit very hard and that’s simply unacceptable,” Peters said Tuesday during a telephone call with reporters. 
  • About 41% of the $175 billion in federal coronavirus relief money Congress approved three months ago to help hospitals get through the pandemic still hasn’t reached hospitals, Peters said.
  • The delay, he said, has “increased … the number of people who are laid off or are on furloughs, and is digging a deeper hole in the financial picture for hospitals and other health providers across the country.” The delay also means providers are less prepared if COVID-19 surges again, he said.
  • He called on President Donald Trump’s administration to ensure that money is paid within the next four weeks, and to redistribute the remaining funds to ensure the areas that have been hardest hit by the virus get a bigger share.  

Detroit News: Peters: Trump administration has not distributed 41% of COVID-19 hospital funding

  • The delays have contributed to the health care industry’s financial crisis, which has led at least 260 hospitals nationwide to temporarily furlough or permanently lay off health care workers, the report says. The reason for the holdup is a mystery, Peters said during a press conference on Tuesday.
  • The Trump administration is simply not sending it out,” Peters said. “There is no fair reason. The money was appropriated. Congress had very specific instructions to get it out as quickly as possible and these are delays within the administration.
  • As they move slowly, that has increased the number of people who are laid off or are on furloughs and is digging a deeper hole in the financial picture for hospitals and other health providers across the country. And I’m particularly concerned about our rural hospitals. They don’t have a cushion some of our larger systems have financially.”
  • Peters called for immediate action to distribute the remaining $72 billion in funds and prioritize funds for hospitals in COVID-19 hot spots, like Michigan, along with rural and low-income areas, which are at higher risk of closure, he said.
  • Peters promoted passing the additional $100 billion in the HEROES Act, which has been passed by the House of Representatives and awaits Senate consideration, for the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund.
  • “Places like Detroit did not receive the funds despite being hit very hard and that’s simply unacceptable,” Peters said. “And we can’t continue doing that. With this money that’s remaining there should be a consideration from the administration as to those places that were hit hardest to make sure that those health systems get the additional support that they need.”

Michigan Advance: Peters report: Trump admin. has failed hospitals during pandemic

  • U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) on Tuesday issued a report that delays by the President Trump administration to quickly distribute $175 billion in COVID-19 relief funds to hospitals have placed the institutions on the “financial brink.” 
  • The inaction, Peters said, has resulted in significant employee layoffs and furloughs during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Peters, the Democrat ranking member on the upper chamber’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee, said that the administration should also place a focus on rural and safety net hospitals.

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