State Rep. Jeremie Dufault Yakima Valley Hospital Bill Heard in House Appropriations Committee Today

State Rep. Jeremie Dufault testified in front of the House Appropriations Committee today on a bill that will help preserve hospital services in the Yakima Valley in the aftermath of the closure of Astria Medical Center in Yakima.

House Bill 2729, introduced by Dufault, increases the Medicaid reimbursement rate for Toppenish Hospital up to the rate nearby hospitals already receive. The medical center's closure happened unexpectedly and with only a few days' notice from Astria management. More than 450 people lost their jobs, medical providers are leaving the area, and nearby hospitals are having trouble accommodating an influx of patients. Yakima County lawmakers and local officials are working to help preserve jobs and medical care in the Valley.

“The closure of Astria's hospital in Yakima was a blow to our community,” said Dufault, a Republican from Selah. “We have to protect our remaining hospital capacity as we work towards a long-term solution.”

The bill has bipartisan support. It was cosponsored by 11 legislators, including State Reps. Bruce Chandler (R-Granger) and Chris Corry (R-Yakima).

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov