HCA Deploys Multi-Phase State Advocacy Approach, Including March 9 Program

Situation Report | February 8, 2021

With the Governor’s budget now out, HCA has been meeting with legislative offices to discuss our priorities. These discussions are setting the stage for several important events that will bring together lawmakers and HCA members for state-level advocacy. Please join us.

HCA has invited key legislators to meet with our Board of Directors in a series of Zoom briefings from February 11 through February 19, during the upcoming legislative break, when there are fewer time conflicts due to hearings, session proceedings, and other day-to-day scheduling issues. This Board-level advocacy will be followed by a second state advocacy program on March 9, also on Zoom, where we’re inviting the entire HCA membership to meet with lawmakers on HCA’s budget priorities.

All HCA members: please mark your calendars for March 9. We need you to attend and share your experiences.

As previously reported, this year’s state budget is staked on the outcome of federal aid negotiations. The Governor has essentially developed a “two-scenario” budget in which tax increases, proposed cuts, or revenue raisers depend on the level of state aid that makes its way through Congress. The Governor says $15 billion in aid is needed to close the deficit, but the Administration has assumed a target of $6 billion, in which case across-the-board provider cuts and other revenue or spending actions are on the table.

Despite this uncertain outlook, HCA felt it was important not to lose any time and reach legislators as early as possible in the process. That’s the purpose of our upcoming advocacy program with the HCA Board.

We reserved March 9 for our full membership to conduct advocacy, given that further details will likely take shape by that point after several key milestones: the Governor’s release of 21-day and then 30-day state budget amendments on February 18, the February 25 state legislative hearing on health and Medicaid (at which HCA will be testifying), and further progress on Congressional negotiations, which are unusually pivotal to the outcome of this year’s budget.

Advocacy Materials Coming Soon 

HCA is finalizing a position paper on our main budget priorities as well as our annual State of the Industry report that tells the story of finance, workforce, and access issues based on your answers to HCA surveys and a comprehensive HCA data analysis. Please be on the lookout for these materials later this week as you plan to join us on March 9.

Once you have an opportunity to review the report, we encourage you to think how you can convey to lawmakers the specific pressures and experiences of your organization, especially in the public health emergency.

Please stay tuned for further information coming soon.