Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering slashing Medical Assistance payments to hospitals by $280 million. Among those in the Philadelphia area that would suffer most are Einstein, Hahnemann, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Pennsylvania Hospital, St. Christopher's, Jefferson, Crozer-Chester, Mercy Fitzgerald, Mercy Hospital, St. Joseph's, Temple, and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Together, these 13 hospitals would lose about $140 million in state funding. That could cost workers' jobs and jeopardize access to care in this region.

At a time when more Pennsylvanians than ever are on Medical Assistance or uninsured, and when thousands are losing their jobs and health insurance, the state should be doing more for hospitals, not less. People should be asking Gov. Rendell and their legislators why they would consider shortchanging great hospitals like these when the demands on their already-limited resources are greater than ever.

Michael Chirieleison

President

Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

Harrisburg