Mighty Blog

We need you: Ask congress to fund pediatric health care during COVID-19

The good news

Last week the President signed another COVID-19 relief bill into law. The bill includes $75 billion for hospitals and other providers through additional funding in the Coronvirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. We are grateful that Children’s Minnesota received some funding through this additional allocation.

The bad news

Unfortunately, to date, there has still been no dedicated funding to children’s hospitals and pediatric providers. Children’s hospitals are still not being funded equitably. While we appreciate the funding and recognition for hospitals and those on the frontlines of the crisis; the CARES Act has provided minimal assistance to children’s hospitals and those who care for our children.

COVID-19’s financial impact

While we are still learning how COVID-19 impacts kids, we know the detrimental impact it is having on children’s hospitals and pediatric providers in the United States. Since mid-March, U.S. children’s hospitals, including Children’s Minnesota, have experienced major revenue losses of up to 40-50 percent due to delays in elective procedures, the reduction of services and increased costs associated with preparing for the pandemic.

The net impact on the nation’s children’s hospitals is expected to be over $10 billion, representing a monthly impact of tens of millions of dollars per hospital. Children’s hospitals across the country cannot sustain financial losses of this magnitude without relief funding.

A call for action: We need your help!

Congresswoman Betty McCollum from Minnesota authored a bipartisan letter to her colleagues advocating for additional federal relief for the nation’s pediatric hospitals. We are grateful to her leadership and to our delegation members who signed on as supporters.

Another major COVID funding bill (Bill 4) is anticipated to be passed in May. As Congress considers the next package of funding, children’s hospitals must be included in the relief in order to ensure we are able to continue to treat and provide care to our most vulnerable.

How you can help

Contact your congressional member and urge them to provide direct relief to children’s hospitals and health care providers by:

  1. Thanking your representatives who signed on to the “Dear Colleague” letter in support of pediatric health care providers.
  2. Encourage them to advocate for $10 billion in proportional relief for the nation’s children’s hospitals and those who care for children in the next “Bill 4” package.
  3. Ask them to reach out to Center for Medicaid Services (CMS) and request that a portion of the new funding be directed to children’s hospitals and pediatric providers.

The needs of children, and those who provide their care, must be given special consideration as we continue to address this public health crisis. Thank you all for helping us accomplish this!

Kaitlyn Kamleiter