Shaheen Responds to NH Hospitals’ Testimony on Urgent Need for More Federal Assistance Due to Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak

April 20, 2020

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement after New Hampshire hospital representatives testified before the Governor's Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery (GOFERR) about the financial and health obstacles they’re facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. New Hampshire hospitals have been sounding the alarm on the financial constraints and revenue shortfall caused by the pandemic. Senator Shaheen has called for additional funding for health care providers in any future COVID-19 relief legislation, and by standing firm during negotiations on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, successfully boosted funding in the law for health care providers by $25 billion.

“Our health care providers are on the frontlines of this crisis and unless additional federal assistance is made available to them immediately, more health care personnel will be laid off and facilities will be forced to close their doors. We cannot afford this outcome in our communities during normal times, but our providers are especially critical as we battle a pandemic,” said Shaheen. “The testimony provided by New Hampshire hospitals today was a sobering reminder of the significant financial challenges New Hampshire’s providers face and why I continue to call for additional federal assistance for hospitals in future COVID-19 response legislation.” 

“Hospitals will need immediate financial relief in order to continue serving our patients and communities,” said New Hampshire Hospital Association President Steve Ahnen at today’s hearing hosted by GOFERR. “We will need support from multiple sources to help get us through this crisis to get to the other side and continue to serve our patients and communities.”

Bolstering financial support for hospitals and health care providers was among Senator Shaheen’s top priorities in COVID-19 response legislation, which she raised in a letter to Senate leadership during negotiations of the CARES Act.

Earlier this month, Shaheen and the New Hampshire congressional delegation announced $164.5 million for health care providers through the CARES Act. They also announced $11.7 million in additional funding to assist New Hampshire’s vulnerable homeless population and other local needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as $2 million to help Granite Staters living with mental health and substance use disorders. New Hampshire also received $4.9 million in initial funding to help the State prepare for COVID-19 which was provided by the first bipartisan coronavirus response bill.