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Delaware Senate Republicans

Senate Republicans Issue Statement Announcing Opposition to House Bill 350

May 3, 2024

DOVER, DE – A bill that would create a review board to oversee hospitals’ budgets and financial plans recently passed the Delaware House of Representatives and is now set to receive a committee hearing in the Senate.

House Substitute 2 for House Bill 350 with House Amendment 1 (HB 350) will be heard in the Senate Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, at 4:00 p.m.

This afternoon, members of the Delaware State Senate Republican Caucus announced their opposition to the legislation as currently drafted and released the following statement.

“Just after 9:30 p.m. last Thursday, April 25, 2024, the House of Representatives passed House Substitute 2 for House Bill 350 with House Amendment 1 (HB 350). The passage came after nearly four hours of contentious debate, strong public opposition from each of Delaware’s non-profit hospital systems, and healthcare officials cautioning supporters that the legislation could lead to a shortage of healthcare workers and, ultimately, services.

“Reducing the cost of healthcare is a laudable goal and one each of us in the Delaware General Assembly should support. However, the blame for increased costs should not be placed at the feet of our hospitals, which, according to testimony from the Delaware Healthcare Association, operated on a negative 2.55% margin last year.

“In Vermont, legislation has been introduced to overhaul its Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB). This group and its responsibilities serve as one of the models of HB 350 and the proposed Diamond State Hospital Cost Review Board. The UVM Health Network had its recent proposed budget denied and revised by the GMCB, and now faces major financial challenges and had to reduce the number of open positions available.

“HB 350 is slated to be heard in the Senate Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, at 4:00 p.m. We strongly oppose HB 350 and the government’s intended takeover of hospitals’ budgets. Rarely has the government imposed stronger restrictions or, in cases like this, directly interjected itself into the private industry and improved the conditions it wished to correct. This will no doubt hinder or, worse, destroy Delaware’s non-profit hospitals.”

The Senate Republican Caucus consists of Senators Gerald Hocker (20th District, Leader), Brian Pettyjohn (19th District, Whip), Dave Lawson (15th District), Bryant Richardson (21st District), Dave Wilson (18th District), and Eric Buckson (16th District).

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