HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL NO. 4009
State of Washington 51st Legislature 1989 Regular Session
By Representatives Zellinsky, Sayan, Schmidt, Winsley, Jacobsen, Wineberry, Jesernig and Kremen
Read first time 2/8/89 and referred to Committee on Health Care.
TO THE HONORABLE GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, Medicare is an integral part of our nation's Social Security system; and
WHEREAS, Medicare provides needed health insurance coverage for thirty-three million of our nation's most vulnerable elderly and disabled citizens; and
WHEREAS, The Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund is expected to produce an annual net surplus for the Medicare Part A program through 1998; and
WHEREAS, Medicare has been the target of budget reductions for each year since fiscal year 1982; and
WHEREAS, The General Accounting Office recently estimated in the fiscal years 1981-1986 Medicare payments to hospitals had been reduced by seventeen billion three hundred million dollars and there have been additional substantial cuts in Medicare Part A expenditures included in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Acts for fiscal years 1987, 1988, and 1989; and
WHEREAS, The Prospective Payment Assessment Commission in its March 1, 1988, testimony before the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee stated that in 1988 it is likely that the average prospective payment surplus margin will fall below zero; and
WHEREAS, Further budget reductions threaten the financial viability of the delivery system serving Medicare beneficiaries;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that Medicare payments to hospitals for fiscal year 1990 not be reduced below current law levels for fiscal year 1990 to enable the Medicare program to meet the necessary costs of assuring the thirty-three million elderly and disabled beneficiaries continuing access to high-quality health care services.
BE IT RESOLVED, That additional funding be provided to ensure adequate and equitable Medicare payments to hospitals; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable George Bush, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.