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California's Safe Reopening: State Must Provide Financial Relief to Hospitals
Last month, Governor Newsom outlined six key measures for California to safely reopen from the devastating COVID-19 shutdown. One of the six is hospitals' ability to care for the sick - both COVID-19 and non-COVID patients, and their ability to handle potential new surges. Unless California’s hospitals are financially healthy and have the ability to care for all, in every way, businesses and schools cannot reopen safely.  Governments cannot serve. People cannot return to work.  

During the pandemic, California's hospitals prepared and saved thousands of lives. Health care workers jumped into battle, putting their own safety at risk to care for others. These unprecedented actions have left hospitals with serious challenges of their own – short- term financial losses exceeding $10 billion. Hospitals cannot continue to operate in the way Californians need under these dire financial conditions.

When our state's elected leaders asked hospitals to suspend all non-urgent surgeries and procedures – they did. Hospitals made large purchases of protective equipment (such as N95 respirators), and converted massive amounts of physical space to prepare for the unimaginable. They did so readily, without concern for costs and reimbursements.

And now, hospitals need elected leaders to act, to put hospitals first as they plan to reopen their communities. Without $1 billion in immediate financial relief in this year's state budget, hospitals will face an extremely difficult challenge in their ability to continue caring for patients – layoffs, furloughs, and pay cuts could be widespread. 

Before the June budget deadline, please ask your legislators to protect hospitals from this growing financial crisis. 
 
Take action now. Let lawmakers know that hospitals are essential for a safe reopening.    
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